Sponsored by Bailey's Towing Accessories and GSI Tow Truck Insurance.
Every once in awhile, we run across a news story that shakes us to our core. This one is no exception.
If you've been following our work for any length of time at all, you know that our entire reason for being is encouraging the selfless act of "running blocker" amongst tow truck operators, police, and others, in an attempt to reduce the number of roadside casualties resulting from the collisions caused by motorists failing to heed their state's respective SDMO (Slow Down Move Over) law.
Simply put...as a police officer, if you see a fellow officer on a traffic stop, take a moment and pull off directly behind him or her at a safe distance (following all road usage laws) on the shoulder with your lights going. If you're a tow truck operator and see a fellow tow op hooking up a vehicle in a dangerous spot, take a moment and do the same.
Not only will this provide a second set of emergency lights, increasing the scene's visibility to oncoming traffic, but in the event that a distracted motorist *still* veers toward the shoulder, your vehicle will act as a physical barrier between that out of control car, and your fellow worker...hopefully saving their life.
As our motto states...."When Move Over Laws Fail to Protect Us, It's Time We Protect Each Other."
This story, originally reported by KATU of Portland Oregon highlights an incident that occurred Saturday, March 11th around 9:45.
According to reports, "officers were investigating the scene where a 22-year-old woman was hit by a car and seriously injured.
"While on scene, an officer's marked police car was blocking the northbound lanes of traffic. Police say the emergency lights were on and no officers were inside the vehicle when 22-year-old Kiri Anna Guthridge slammed into it." (Pictured Below)
The young woman was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and was taken into custody under DUI and reckless driving charges.
This story, in our opinion, while unfortunate due to the loss of property, underscores a much more important point.....If that police car were not positioned where it was, what would the end result look like?
We may very well have been reporting another SDMO-related death of a police officer(s). But, due to the proper management of a traffic incident scene by the Portland Police Department, this story is nothing of the sort. A police car is replaceable. A father, mother, or friend is not.
What experiences have you had with running blocker for others? Any close calls? Collisions that prevented a potential death like described in the story above? Let us know in the comments below!