An Interview with Jesse Breedlove: Back to School? Keep Right!

Aug 28, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughness –

  1. Jesse, kids, adolescents, teachers and administrators are all returning to school. What are some of the issues in terms of safety?

Improving traffic safety is the number one priority of the Keep Right program.  The majority of students, teachers and administrators get to school either in a personal vehicle or a bus.  There are many issues when it comes to traffic safety, namely distracted driving, such as texting and driving, talking on the phone and even driving under the influence.  My personal mission since 2004 has been to educate the motoring public on the importance and safety implications of the Slower Traffic Keep Right law.

2) While school is certainly important, there are still police cars rushing to scenes, and fire trucks investigating fires and 911 calls. What do motorists need to know?

Every second counts in an emergency, so motorists must know how to properly yield to emergency vehicles approaching with lights and sirens on.  Scanning your rear-view and side mirrors is a very important aspect of defensive driving.  You must be aware that an emergency vehicle is approaching before you can properly yield.  Lights and sirens are designed to alert motorists that an emergency vehicle is approaching.  The sooner that you are aware an emergency vehicle is approaching, the sooner that you can properly yield.

In most areas, the proper way to yield to an emergency vehicle is to safely move to the right and come to a complete stop.  If you cannot safely move to the right, then you should stay put.  This pertains to motorists travelling in all directions.  Only on a divided highway or road is it acceptable, in most situations, for a motorist travelling in the opposite direction as the emergency vehicle to continue driving and not move to the right.

3) Speed and safety are two issues that should concern every citizen- what do you and your organization do?

Keep Right USA in unison with America Keep Right operate the Keep Right program.  We promote Keep Right traffic safety through public awareness and the use of “Keep Right Safety Decals.”

Slower Traffic Keep Right is not only the law, but also a guide for motorists travelling at different speeds to maintain order and efficiency on our roads and freeways.  The Slower Traffic Keep Right law should be obeyed at all speeds and on all roads with very few exceptions.  This is a safety issue, not a speed issue.  If you are unsure about proper Keep Right driving procedure, view this Keep Right instructional video  For more information on the America Keep Right traffic safety campaign in your state, visit

Keep Right USA is the exclusive distributor of “Keep Right Safety Decals”.  “Keep Right Safety Decals” are printed in reverse and designed to be read in the rear-view mirror.  Installed on emergency vehicles, they act as a visual aide to motorists that either freeze or are unsure what to do when an emergency vehicle is approaching with lights and sirens on.  Several Fire and EMS Departments across the nation are involved in this program.  “Keep Right Safety Decals” are also available for personal occupancy vehicles to increase your personal safety in real time.  For more information about “Keep Right Safety Decals,” visit

4) There are even instances of hazardous materials being spilled out there as a result of accidents- what do motorists and first responders need to be aware of?

If all motorists would incorporate the Slower Traffic Keep Right law into their normal practice of defensive driving, our roads and freeways would be much safer.  This would have an immediate impact on traffic safety and reduce the overall number of traffic accidents that occur across America.  To increase the safety of emergency personnel, the “Move Over” law states that you should slow down and move to the left if possible when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the right side of the road (move right if possible and slow down if the emergency vehicle is on the left side of the road).  Click this link to view the “Move Over” instructional video

5) Let me make a public statement here—TEXTING AND DRIVING IS STUPID AND DANGEROUS—that being said- what would you add?

SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT!  Travelling in a vehicle is a part of our everyday lives.  It is imperative that we all do our part to increase traffic safety.  Be aware of your speed, do not tailgate and yield the right of way to faster motorists.

6) I guess “keeping right“ is important so that motorists can go on the shoulder—if there is one—am I off on this?

“Keeping Right” is very important.  You may pull on the shoulder to yield for emergency vehicles if you can safely do so.  You do not have to pull on the shoulder to yield to faster motorists unless you are on a two lane highway (one lane in each direction) and there are 5 or more vehicles behind you, and only if you can safely do so.

7) Motorists should always check their rear view mirrors, as well as adjust them- how would this help police, and first responders, as well as firemen and women?

As I stated before, scanning your rear-view and side mirrors is a very important aspect of defensive driving.  You must be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Not only will you improve emergency response, you will also increase your personal safety.

8) Many fire departments have supported your efforts- can you just name a few in the great state of New Mexico, and perhaps a few in California?

The first responders in New Mexico have been very instrumental in this program.  The following is just a few of the departments involved.

Hobbs, NM Fire and EMS

Artesia, NM Fire and EMS

Roswell, NM Fire and EMS

Lovington, NM Fire and EMS

Carlsbad, NM Fire and EMS

Portales, NM Fire and EMS

Midland, TX Fire and EMS

Seminole, TX EMS

Texas Regional Advisory Council TSA-J

9) What have I neglected to ask?

We have received positive feedback from the Fire and EMS departments involved.  The City of Hobbs Fire department recently issued a testimonial letter regarding their involvement and the success of the program (   We would like to thank all of the Fire and EMS departments involved.  This program wouldn’t be where it is today without them.

Obeying the Slower Traffic Keep Right law and properly yielding to emergency vehicles saves lives.  We need your support!  If you have any questions or would like more information feel free to contact us.

Thank You!

Jesse Breedlove
Keep Right USA
America Keep Right

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