CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- A Chesterfield man who lost part of his legs after being hit eight months ago wants his tragic story to help others.
Brad Hughes had stopped on the side of the road to help officers who were dealing with accidents on an icy Midlothian Turnpike bridge last March when a driver swerved and hit him, pinning him beneath two vehicles.
"The same time I was injured, three other state troopers were hurt. The same time I was injured, a fire truck was hit," Hughes said. "If you can't see a fire truck in the middle of the highway, you've got a problem."
In the months since his accident, Hughes he has been on a mission to raise awareness about Virginia's Move Over Law.
That law requires drivers to move over a lane if they spot police officers or emergency crews on the side of the road with their flashing lights on.
If the driver cannot safely move over a lane, he or she is required to reduce speed.
Hughes said that not enough drivers respect that law. He told CBS 6 News that he spoke with one state delegate and the Chesterfield's Commonwealth Attorney about increasing fines and penalties for drivers who violate the Move Over Law.
In fact, Hughes said he would like to see legislation that would make the violation a felony, especially if someone is injured or killed.
In addition, Hughes said he would also support steep fines up to $10,000.
Chesterfield's Lt. Jason Elmore, who knows firsthand the dangers that exist, reiterated that the Move Over Law not only applies to police officers, but any first responder or emergency crews that have to deal with situations on the side of the road.
"Just being out there on the interstate in a situation where we don't have control over how fast the drivers are going it is a precarious situation to be in," Elmore said. "We try to park our apparatus in certain ways to protect us, but we want people to try and get over or slow down at the very least."
Hughes, who is very passionate about the issue since it is very personal to him, said he is prepared to take his fight to the General Assembly and is eager to work with lawmakers to bring about change.