242104 Preliminary Evaluation of State "Move-Over" Laws in Controlling Emergency Responder Motor Vehicle Crash Fatality

Monday, October 31, 2011

Charles DiMaggio, PhD, MPH, PA-C , Department of Anesthesiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY
Introduction: Traffic injuries are the leading cause of line-of-duty fatality among law enforcement officers. To date, 49 states have enacted so-called “Move-Over” laws requiring motorists to change lanes and/or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles responding to roadside incidents. There has been little or no research on their effectiveness.

Methods: Using Fatality Analysis Reporting System data for 1994 to 2009, we compared states where “Move-Over” laws were adopted prior to 2003, to those where there were no laws or they were enacted on or after 2005. We calculated the rates of emergency-vehicle related traffic fatalities per 10,000 total traffic, and conducted linear regression, t tests and area under the curve analysis.

Results: While, there was no statistically significant change in the rates for either group of states during the study period., the average rate of emergency-related traffic fatalities in early adopter states was 15.4 per 10,000 total traffic fatalities vs. 18.0 10,000 total traffic fatalities in late/non-adopter states. The two-sample t test for this difference was statistically significant (95% CI 0.8, 4.4, p=0.006). The t test comparing the log of areas under curves for the two groups was border-line statistically significant (p=0.07).

Conclusions: Legislation intended to prevent struck-by pedestrian injuries and fatalities among emergency responders was associated with lower rates of overall emergency-response traffic fatalities including driver and occupant fatalities, and may hold promise for addressing recent increases in traffic-related line-of-duty fatalities among law enforcement officers.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effect of state "Move-Over" on the risk of emergency responder motor vehicle crash fatality

Keywords: Injury Risk, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research and wrote the abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.