Injured officer raising awareness for move over safety awareness month

Injured officer raising awareness for move over law

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - For the past seven years, Brad Hughes has had to live with the consequences of someone else’s actions.

“I was working a traffic crash right on Midlothian Turnpike, right at (Route) 76,” Hughes said. “It was really icy that day and the driver of that vehicle failed to slow down, and he ended up sliding on the ice itself, causing what you can see right here.”

Brad was working as a security officer and lost both of his legs in that accident. He would spend the next two months recovering and relearning how to walk. But since then, he’s made it his mission to make sure people fully grasp the mistake of not moving over.

“I’ve had to alter my life. I had to change a lot of things in my life,” Hughes said. “When you see these lights on these rigs like this, you need to make sure that you move over for them.”

Hughes, who now works as a Powhatan Sheriff’s Deputy, says his efforts are especially important now because June is Move Over Awareness Month. The occasion is coming at a time when more people are taking to the roads, making accidents more frequent.

“Recently we’ve had an increase of these engines, right here, getting struck in the rear,” Hughes said. “Just look at the size of this thing, if you can’t see this, there’s a problem.”

The move over law states that drivers must move over for any stationary vehicle flashing blue, red or amber light, or slow down if moving over is not a safe option. Violating this law could result in jail time and losing your privilege to drive, but above that, Hughes hopes that people consider the lives they could be affecting due to a bad decision.

“I want everyone to understand that these gentlemen come out here to save lives, and if these individuals are working on the side of the roadway and you get too close to them, you’re going to throw them,” Hughes said. “We can look back at Lieutenant Brad Clark with inclement weather outside and tractor-trailer came through. He just had enough time to tell his crew to get away from the apparatus, but unfortunately, he lost his life.”

Hughes hopes that people see the consequences of not moving over through his situation, and take the time not to be distracted while driving.

“This right here can happen to anybody if you do not pay attention,” Hughes said. “If you fail to move over, if you fail to slow down, this could be the end result. If not this, it’s going to be death.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.