Ind. (WEHT) — Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law increasing penalties for reckless drivers who cause injury or death to emergency workers.
House Bill 1225 raises the offense to a level 6 felony which is punishable by six months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The bill, authored by Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville), says the idea came from a local tragedy.
Allan Gansman, a former Evansville Police Officer, was helping a stranded motorist at the side of the road when he was struck by a distracted driver. McNamara said Gansman suffers from lifelong injuries while the driver was only ticketed.
“This law underscores the need for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and look out for our emergency workers who are risking their lives to keep Hoosiers safe,” McNamara said. “Everyone on the road can do their part to help first responders by slowing down and moving over.”
When drivers see an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road they should move over a lane or slow to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and proceed with caution.
The law goes into effect July 1.
(This story was originally published on April 1, 2020)