That wrecked police car in the median of Robert Edge Parkway didn’t end up there by chance.
North Myrtle Beach is using a recent close call with one of its police officers to remind drivers how important it is to move over when a public safety vehicle is parked on the side of the road.
Also, it’s the law.
Around 8 a.m. on July 22, Officer Steve Perlstein had stopped to check on a car parked on the side of S.C. Highway 31 northbound near mile marker 6.
His police lights were on and the city said he had orange cones placed one-and-a-half car lengths back from his patrol car.
But that wasn’t enough to get the attention of a truck travelling in the same lane where Perlstein was parked from slamming into the back of the police car.
City spokesperson Pat Dowling said the officer wasn’t in the car and wasn’t seriously hurt. He took a day off and is back on the job.
A few days ago, the city moved Perlstein’s car to the median of Robert Edge Parkway next to a large electronic sign that often features public safety advice for people entering the city. The sign now alternates the messages, “SLOW DOWN,” “MOVE OVER” and “SAVE A LIFE.”
“We thought it might be a good reminder to people that it is the law to move over when you see a public safety vehicle on the side of the road,” Dowling said. “Move over if you see a police car, slow down, and move over if you see any car parking on the side of the road, especially on a major highway like [S.C. Highway] 31 where people aren’t necessarily going the speed limit all the time.”
Another officer’s dashcam video showed the moment of impact. The white truck smashed into police car, which smashed into another parked car. Perlstein managed to jump clear of the wreck as the cars shot into the median.
“This is what can happen if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on ahead of you,” Dowling said. “Save a life, move over.”
Dowling said he didn’t know how long the police car would be on Robert Edge, but “eventually it’s going to go to the junk yard.”