CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video of a Cleveland police car getting slammed from behind while at another accident scene, and this comes as we’ve learned of a new video campaign aimed at protecting officers, rescue crews and highway workers.
Time and again, we’re seeing headlines filled with emergency crews and others hit while working on the side of the road. Recently, a highway worker died after getting hit in Mahoning County.
Police video just released to the I-Team shows an officer sitting in a cruiser at the scene of a recent crash along the highway downtown. Then, you see the car jolted forward, the steering wheel spinning wildly, and the officer getting jostled around.
Meantime, the Ohio Department of Transportation has produced a video with survivor stories from incidents like that hoping to encourage all drivers to be more careful when something’s happening along the side of the road. The video features police, firefighters and highway workers talking about close calls with passing drivers. ODOT is pushing the video out on social media and trying to get the video played in movie theaters.
Ohio has a law requiring drivers to slow down and move over when there are any flashing lights along the side of the road. But that law is often ignored.
The I-Team investigated to find out how big the problem has become. In each of the last two years, ODOT says it has recorded about 150 crashes involving workers and equipment at construction zones, more than 300 crashes involving police officers, firefighters and paramedics.
In the case of the officer hit from behind in the video just released, a driver was convicted of failure to control. He paid a fine and court costs totaling well over $200.