An Ohio auto accident Involving an Ohio State Highway Patrol Vehicle Involved in a Car Accident Brings New Light to Failure To Yield
An Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer was responding to an accident report when he was involved in and Ohio auto accident involving three vehicles. The officer was driving through the U.S. Route 224 and state Route 7 intersection during a red light with the vehicle’s sirens and lights activated in response to another crash. While traveling through the intersection, he collided with a Chevrolet Impala, which then struck a BMW vehicle.
The highway patrol trooper stated that he only proceeded through the intersection after, “all traffic had appeared to stop.” Ohio drivers are required by law to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens.
All three drivers were taken to St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center with minor injuries, Youngstown News reports. (Youngstown News, October 2, 2013 http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/oct/02/trooper-involved-in-three-vehicle-crash-/?nw) The State Highway Patrol Department has not released the names of any of the officers or other drivers in the crash.
Ohio Accidents Involving Police Officers
Although it is unusual to hear of accidents involving police officers, a number of vehicle accidents in Ohio involve police vehicles each year. According to data collected by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, accidents involving police vehicles are more prevalent than many drivers might think.
According to the data from 2010, 1,539 police motorcycles were involved in an accident and 292 other police vehicles were involved in a traffic accident throughout the year. Although the accidents are somewhat rare, they still exist. The current Ohio emergency vehicle laws are enforced to help reduce officer crashes on the road. (Ohio Department of Public Safety, January, 2011 http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2010CrashFacts.pdf)
Ohio Emergency Vehicle Laws
Ohio has strict emergency vehicle right-of-way laws that drivers must follow. When a stationary emergency vehicle shows flashing lights, the driver should change lanes to provide plenty of space for the vehicle. If the weather, traffic, or road conditions do not allow for the driver to change lanes, the driver is required to reduce his or her speed while passing the emergency vehicle. This is part of the “slow down, move over” laws designed to protect the safety of emergency vehicle drivers by the side of the road. Penalty for not following this law includes a minor misdemeanor, which includes a fine in a non-specified amount. (Ohio State Patrol, October 8, 2013 http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/moveover.stm)
Nationally, drivers are required to yield right-away to emergency vehicles, which include police vehicles with flashing lights or sirens. Drivers are required to move out of their lane to make room for a passing emergency vehicle, or yield to allow an emergency vehicle to pass through an intersection. (National Safety Commission, October, 2011 http://alerts.nationalsafetycommission.com/2010/07/emergency-vehicles-right-of-way-and.html)