Amid officer remembrances, respect is urged for move-over law

MSP Move Over

Monday, May 15 is not only National Peace Officers Memorial Day, according to the Ohio Turnpike Commission, it is also the 17th anniversary of the death of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Perez from a turnpike accident.  Perez died three days after his cruiser was struck from behind by a minivan while he was writing a citation on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County near the US 250 exit on May 12, 2000.  The driver who struck the trooper's cruiser was high on amphetamines, according to state officials, and was doing 83 miles per hour.  Perez was 24 years old and lived in Lorain.  The Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are asking motorists to help keep their fellow drivers and law enforcement officers safe by following Ohio's Move Over law.  From 2012-2016, OSHP cruisers were involved in 73 crashes that appear to be related to the move over law, according to the patrol. These crashes resulted in the deaths of two civilians, 24 injured officers and 32 injured civilians.  "By moving over, motorists are helping to protect the lives of everyone who works on or uses our roadways," said Lt. Richard Reeder of the OSHP's Milan Post.   "It's not just the law -- it's the right thing to do to prevent the type of tragedy that befell the Perez family."  Trooper Kenneth Velez was killed on Interstate 90 in Cleveland last September when he was hit by a car.  The suspect, charged with driving under the influence and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, is set for trial in July in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.  Cleveland police officer David Fahey was killed under similar circumstances in January.  The driver accused of causing Fahey's death faces pretrial on similar charges May 16 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.  The deaths have led two Ohio legislators to call for stiffer penaltiesfor drivers who fail to heed Ohio's move over law.  National Peace Officers Memorial Day on Monday coincides with the 32nd annual Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society commemoration, May 13-21, and National Police Week.