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Shawn Steward
Manager, Public and Government Affairs, KS
O: (316) 681-8333
C: (785) 409-0678

WICHITA, Kan. – Aug. 30, 2021 – AAA Kansas, with support from the AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund, has donated sets of digital road flare lights to about two dozen smaller police departments and sheriff’s offices across the Sunflower State, to help increase visibility and safety when officers work roadside emergency incidents in dark conditions.

AAA Kansas presented 6-light sets of pi-lit® smart sequential road flares to the following police departments and sheriff’s offices all across Kansas.

Baldwin Police Dept.

Baxter Springs Police Dept.

Benton Police Dept.

Buhler Police Dept.

Clearwater Police Dept.

Decatur County Sheriff

Ellis County Sheriff

Harvey County Sheriff

Lyon County Sheriff

McLouth Police Dept.

Morris County Sheriff

Neodesha Police Dept.

Parsons Police Dept.

Rawlins County Sheriff

Seward County Sheriff

St. John Police Dept.

Thomas County Sheriff

Valley Falls Police Dept.

Wabaunsee County Sheriff

Wakefield Police Dept.

Wallace County Sheriff

“Many people, including law enforcement officers, road construction crews and tow truck operators, such as our AAA emergency roadside service technicians, are in put perilous situations while working their daily jobs, often just feet away from passing traffic,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “In AAA Kansas’ ongoing commitment to educating motorists about “Move Over” safety laws and protecting roadside workers, it is our honor to donate these highly visible flare kits to our Kansas law enforcement partners, to help them return home safely to their families after nighttime duties along the roadways.”

“The Rawlins County Sheriff's Office sends our thanks and appreciation for the generous donation of the digital flare kits,” said Undersheriff Catlyn Wahrman. ”The safety of our deputies is of the utmost importance, along with the safety of our community. The flares have already been used multiple times working accidents and helping disabled motorists, after dark and in low-visibility conditions. With small agencies like ours, budgets are always tight, and donations like this allow us to use our limited funds for additional important items. Thank you, AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund.”

“These lights are being kept and carried by the Sergeant on night shift,” said Bo Jacobs, Sergeant, Seward County Sheriff’s Office. “They are being utilized for accidents and are a great tool for our office.”

“Move Over” Laws

Move Over laws exist in all 50 states. AAA and other traffic safety advocates have been instrumental in the passage of laws to better protect tow truck drivers, road construction workers and other first responders.

Kansas’ Move Over law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or slow to a speed safe for road, weather, and traffic conditions. In Kansas, the original law took effect in 2000 to protect law enforcement officers. It has been expanded over the years to to reduce risk to roadside construction crews, emergency responders and tow operators and waste collection vehicles. It was most recently broadened during the 2021 Kansas Legislative session to include to utility and telecommunications crews.

If motorists are cited for violating this statute, they will face a $75 fine plus, potentially, additional court costs.

Tragic Numbers

In Kansas designated road construction work zones alone – not even including incidents involving law enforcement officers, tow truck drivers and other roadside workers – the impact of vehicle crashes has been significant and tragic. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, from 2010-2019, there were:

  • 15,925 work zone crashes
  • 5,126 injuries in those crashes
  • 65 people killed

What’s Being Done

Law enforcement agencies across Kansas and the nation regularly enforce Move Over law violations. AAA and its traffic safety partners will strengthen advocacy and community awareness throughout the year, including highlighting “National Move Over Day” which happens every third Saturday in October.

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