Too close for comfort: Driver narrowly misses officer during traffic stop

Each day, law enforcement officers stop on the side of interstates and roads throughout metro Atlanta to do their job, but it can be a dangerous place to be when people are not paying attention.

It is a problem law enforcement deals with all over the state.

Last weekend, a Conyers police officer had a close call of his own when a speeding driver came within feet of him.

"His life slowly flashed in front of him with that vehicle, traveling very close to his patrol vehicle," said Sgt. Quantavis Garcia with Conyers Police. 

Conyers Police say the officer was "startled" and went back into his car to compose himself.

"It's very often that we have to deal with this, you can do a traffic stop on an interstate right now and somebody is going to be in that far right lane," Sgt. Garcia said.


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Video released by Conyers Police shows a driver not following Georgia’s Move Over Law, nearly hitting an officer on the side of the highway on April 26, 2023.

What is Georgia's Move Over Law?

Georgia has a Move Over Law which requires drivers to have one lane of separation when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of a highway.

FBI stats show traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death for police in the line of duty.

"Mostly it's distracted, not paying attention and of course, distracted driving is a cause of accidents, many accidents here in Georgia and all throughout the nation," Garcia said.

Police officers are not the only ones at risk on the side of roads. Video from south Georgia highlights the dangers others, like tow truck operators deal with while dealing with crashes. In the case of the video, nobody was seriously hurt.

So far this year, at least two tow truck drivers have been killed in metro-Atlanta by people who failed to pay attention, slow down and pull over. 

"Any lights that you see on the side of the road, even if somebody has a flasher on in their car and they're pulled over just be courteous and move over," Garcia said.

Authorities say if you are caught breaking the Move Over Law you could be slapped with a fine of up to $500.