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The Villages
Friday, December 2, 2022

Popular Villages entertainer knows pain behind reason Move Over Law is so important

Popular Villages entertainer James Savage Jr. knows why the Move Over Law is so important.

The entertainer, also known as Jamie Klatt, lost his father, James Savage Sr., on Jan. 22, 1986. He was 42.

The Connecticut state trooper had finished his work day with the traffic squad and was traveling home on Route 8 at Waterbury when he stopped a motorist.  As Savage was approaching the car, a salesman driving on Route 8 looked over at some paperwork on the front seat of his car. His car drifted toward the shoulder as the car entered a slight curve in the road. Trooper Savage was struck from behind and died at the scene.

James Savage Sr., left, was a Connecticut state trooper and father of James Savage Jr., right.

“It’s been hard, he missed my graduation, prom, marriages and my first concert at Church on the Square in The Villages. I beg of you to ‘Move Over’ when you see flashing lights,” said Savage, a professional hair designer who frequently performs as Neil Diamond.

Many tried to guess why Trooper Savage, after years in the traffic squad, would take the time to stop yet another motorist while on general patrol.

“Quite simply, he was doing his job. His career revolved around traffic enforcement, and he was never complacent in his responsibilities, even if it meant making one last stop 15 minutes from home,” the Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Association said of Savage.

Florida’s Move Over Act was enacted in 2002. Still, Move Over violations result in more than 100 crashes per year on Florida roadways, putting motorists and those who work along the roadways at risk.

A Properties of The Villages sales agent, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a tow truck driver were killed in 2014 on Interstate 75 in Marion County when a driver did not move over.

A Villager who said he was in a hurry was arrested last month after he blew by a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy completing a traffic stop on El Camino Real in The Villages.

Lady Lake Police Chief Chris McKinstry said his officers strictly enforce the Florida Move Over Law.

“After 40 years in law enforcement and public safety, I have learned that driving, especially when responding to calls for service, is the most hazardous duty performed by law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency service professionals. Many fatalities and injuries to emergency service workers could have been avoided had the driver simply slowed down and moved over,” McKinstry said.

The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that older drivers are more likely to violate the Move Over Law as it was enacted long after they learned to drive.

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