Law enforcement and highway patrol officers face dangers on a daily basis on the highways of Georgia. Recently, an Atlanta police officer was hurt in a four-car crash.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted the police officer was treated at a local hospital after the multi-vehicle accident.
The incident was reported in the area of Lee Street at Donnelly Avenue in southwest Atlanta, according to police spokeswoman Stephanie Brown.
The police officer was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. The AJC report noted he complained of neck and back pain. He was released shortly afterward.
Two other adults and one child were reported to be in the car that hit the officer. The adults were taken to the hospital but the child was not injured, according to police.
Traffic accidents are a major cause of deaths and injuries to police officers on the roads of Atlanta and elsewhere.
A report released in 2016 revealed traffic-related accidents as well as unprovoked attacks accounted for a majority of police officer deaths from 2010-2014.
The study by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund looked in detail at the deaths of 684 police officers over a five-year period. It found that 272 officers lost their lives in an automobile crash or were hit by a vehicle while standing at the roadside. The study found the majority of these fatal incidents were not related to either a call for service or a case of “self-initiated activity,” the report concluded.
While many police officers are hit by reckless or negligent motorists, the report also expressed concern about law enforcement officers driving too fast to incidents. It urged police to slow down when responding to calls, to wear seat belts and even body armor to reduce deaths, reported CNN.
Georgia has a ‘move over’ law to protect police officers and other emergency workers.
The state enacted the law in 2003. It was extended recently to include vehicles with white lights as well as blue and yellow lights. Since 2016, drivers must move over for stationary towing or recovery vehicles, or highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, or red lights.
The law provides a buffer to protect emergency workers. If drivers cannot move over a lane, they must slow down below the speed limit and be ready to stop. Violators face a $500 fine.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Georgia, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.