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Relatives of fallen officers testify in favor of 'move over' bill

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 2:20 p.m. HST, Feb 1, 2012

The sister of Honolulu police Officer Garret Davis and the wife of Officer Eric Fontes testified at the state Capitol this morning in support of a bill requiring drivers to move over or slow down whenever they approach a stopped emergency vehicle.

Both Davis and Fontes have been killed in the last several months by drivers who crashed into them as they were stopped on the side of a highway.

Amanda Stevens, Davis' older sister, said her brother came to Hawaii from his native California to become a police officer.

Davis was killed Jan. 21 on H-1 Freeway near the Kaonohi Overpass after a pickup truck slammed into his police car which he had pulled over to help a stalled vehicle.

Fontes, 45, died Sept. 13 when he was struck by a pickup truck beside Farrington Highway near Ko Olina while assisting another officer during a routine traffic stop.

Li Ann Fontes said her husband, Eric, and Davis may still be alive today if the "move over" bill had been law.

Hawaii is the only state without a "move over" bill, police said.

The state House Public Safety and Transportation committees advanced House Bill 2030 following today's hearing.

The bill, as approved by the two committees, would apply to all police, fire, emergency response and other first-responder vehicles. Motorists would also need to provide a buffer or slow down when approaching tow trucks pulled over to do their work.

The bill next will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.

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