It's been almost 15 years since State Trooper Ted Foss was killed by a passing car during a routine traffic stop.
On Monday, law enforcement agencies will be out in large numbers to uphold the law created in his name, according to a Minnesota Department of Public Safety news release.
Trooper Foss's death led to the implementation of the "Ted Foss Move Over" law, requiring drivers on roads with two or more lanes going in the same direction to move over a full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles.
Foss died on Aug. 31, 2000, when he was struck by a car while carrying out a traffic stop on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in Winona. As the anniversary of his death approaches, his 88-year-old mother Shirley made an impassioned plea to drivers.
"I wake up every day thinking Ted will walk through the door at any moment. He would be alive today if the driver would have moved over and let Ted do his job in a safe way," she said.
"The Ted Foss Move Over law won’t bring Ted back, but I know in my heart that it’s helped keep people safe," she added. "On the 15th anniversary of my son’s death, please remember to keep your eye on the road and move over to protect those trying to do their jobs."
Troopers struck in the line of duty
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, two of its troopers have been injured so far this year out of the six occasions that their parked squad cars were hit by another vehicle.
Last year, 30 squad cars were struck, leaving four troopers injured.
Among those involved in such incidents is Lt. Dan Lewis, the trooper who notified Foss's family about his death 15 years ago, who has been struck 11 times while on the side of the road during his career.
"Every time I make a traffic stop or investigate a crash on Minnesota roads, I’m looking over my shoulder, hoping drivers are paying attention," he said in the news release. "I’ve been hit 11 times by cars while doing my job. That’s 11 times too many."
Some 1,432 warnings and 435 citations for not moving over have been issued to drivers in Minnesota so far this year. Last year there was a total of 2,476 warnings and 816 citations.