Excellance recently chatted with Mike Atchley who is an event organizer for the Move Over Campaign. Mike discusses the Move Over law and how they are raising awareness with the upcoming event on June 12th in Madison, Alabama. Read on.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with the Move Over Campaign.
MIKE ATCHLEY: I am married with two wonderful children and I have been a Tire Service Tech for over thirty years. I drive a service truck where I go on calls, whether it is on the job or the road, across various parts of north Alabama and southern Tennessee. The way I got involved in the Move Over Campaign occurred while watching the news one night on television. The story featured local tow truck drivers lined up on the interstate to raise awareness of the Move Over Law because another operator had lost his life from someone not paying attention while on the road. This got me thinking about my own close calls where I could have been hit myself but luckily, I had only been hit by a side view car mirror. I already knew the tow truck drivers so I decided to reach out to them to inquire about their next events because I wanted to be involved. That was two years ago and I haven’t stopped yet and don’t plan on it either!
Tell us a little bit about the Move Over Campaign and its purpose.
MIKE ATCHLEY: The Move Over Campaign is worldwide event that has thousands of drivers helping to raise awareness of the Move Over law. There are hundreds of Facebook pages with all kinds of information online that interested people can check out. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the Move Over Law, which states when an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road with beacon lights on (and this includes tow trucks and service trucks) you must slow down to at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit or move over to the next lane. People are unaware that in the United States alone, one tow truck / service truck driver is killed every six days from people not following this law. These are human beings just doing their jobs. Each state has the Move Over Law and they all have different fines. Alabama’s fine for breaking the Move Over Law is only $25.
On June 12th, there will be a Move Over event at Hobby Lobby from 12 to 7:30PM. Tell us a little bit about the event and the activities involved.
MIKE ATCHLEY: I, alongside three of my friends, are hosting this event to raise more awareness of the Move Over Law and Distracted Driving. We have numerous agencies attending and will have guest speakers from all over the country in attendance. Our local Sheriff’s Department will have their Distracted Driving Simulation Unit there and we are also having a safe driver pledge. There will be vendors with all kinds of safety equipment alongside food trucks, door prizes, and a raffle. We also have a few surprises planned for attendees.
How many events like the one on June 12th have you participated in before for the Move Over Campaign?
MIKE ATCHLEY: I have been in twelve or so events but this one is going to be very different. Before this event, it was just a group of tow truck operators setting up in a parking lot with no one knowing what was happening until the nightly news aired. We have been planning this event for months now and it is currently promoted on five different radio stations alongside the local news stations. We are hoping for a large public turnout.
For people wanting to get involved, how can they do that?
MIKE ATCHLEY: Anyone wanting to get involved can contact me on Facebook by going to the Move Over United States page or on Instagram at #moveoverunitedstates. The best way to get involved is when you see flashing lights on the side of the road, “Slow Down and Move Over.”
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
MIKE ATCHLEY: You’re welcome and yes I would. The next time you get in your car, before you start it, put your phone out of reach so you can focus on driving instead of texting. Please everyone be safe and remember–Slow Down and Move Over–we want to go home to our family too.
7504 Highway 72W, Ste C, Madison, Alabama 35758
June 12, 2016
Noon- 7:30 pm