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November 13-17, 2023: Crash Responder Safety Week

WHEREAS, according to the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning, a traffic crash was reported in Michigan every 1 minute and 48 seconds resulting in 293,342 traffic crashes in 2022, and emergency vehicles were involved in 2,515 of these crashes including two fatal crashes and 324 injury crashes; and,

WHEREAS, emergency responders working the scene of a traffic crash or other incident may include any combination of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, towing and recovery operators, and transportation first responders, and they risk being struck by a vehicle and killed or injured in the line of duty every hour of every day; and,

WHEREAS, according to the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center, police/ambulance/fire-involved fatalities increased 400 percent, from two in 2021 to 10 in 2022; and

WHEREAS, according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, nationwide, 36 emergency responders have been struck and killed while responding to traffic incidents since January 2022, and in 2021, 65 emergency responders nationwide, which is an increase of more than 40% compared to 2020, were struck and killed while responding to traffic incidents; and,

WHEREAS, all emergency responders have a responsibility to protect each other along with the motoring public and reduce the risk of secondary crashes by training in traffic incident management (TIM) with other emergency responders and using TIM best practices when responding to traffic incidents; and,

WHEREAS, all motorists have a responsibility to drive safely around traffic incidents and reduce the risk of secondary crashes by following Michigan laws that increase emergency responder and motorist safety; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s Move Over law requires drivers approaching stopped emergency vehicles with emergency lights activated to slow down at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit, and move over at least one lane if safely possible; and,

WHEREAS, Crash Responder Safety Week is an opportunity for Michigan to raise awareness that every emergency responder and every driver has a responsibility for traffic incident scene safety, and by staying alert, avoiding distractions, driving safely around traffic incidents, and obeying the Move Over law, we can save lives;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 13-17, 2023, as Crash Responder Safety Week in Michigan.