Reminder: Move over and slow down for stopped squads, so this doesn't happen - Bring Me The News

Reminder: Move over and slow down for stopped squads, so this doesn't happen

There's a law that requires you to give emergency vehicles space.
Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

That photo above is a Hudson Police Department squad car, after it was hit by a motorist Monday morning.

The squad was in the left lane of the I94 Hudson Bridge, on the Minnesota side, helping a vehicle that had stalled, the State Patrol said in its incident report. The squad's emergency lights were on.

Then a Ford pickup slammed into the back of the squad car "at hwy speed," Hudson police said – and as you'll notice in the photo, the crash pushed it all the way across the highway, where it slammed into the wall on the right-hand side of the road, the State Patrol said.

The Hudson police officer was not in the squad at the time, and was unhurt. The driver of the pickup suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Move over, slow down

In Monday morning's incident, nobody was seriously hurt. But Minnesota has a law that requires drivers to put a lane between themselves and a parked emergency vehicle that has its lights flashing.

It's called the Ted Foss Move Over Law – it was named after state trooper Ted Foss, who in 2000 was hit and killed by a semi while he was standing outside his squad car during a traffic stop in Winona.

The specifics of the law are here, but generally:

  • If you're on a highway with at least two lanes, you're required to move over and create a lane of space for stopped emergency vehicles such as ambulances, maintenance workers, tow trucks, and squad cars.
  • If you're unable to move over a lane, you have to slow down.

The State Patrol said in 2014, a total of six parked squad cars were hit by other vehicles, and two troopers were injured. That same year, the patrol issued 816 citations and 2,476 warnings for people who didn't follow the Move Over Law.

As the Hudson PD said Monday: "Please remember to slow down and move over when you see an emergency vehicle with it's emergency lights on."

Related

House lawmaker wants to change 'move over for emergency vehicles' rule

Current law requires drivers to move over a lane when approaching emergency vehicles. A bill moving through the House would allow drivers to simply "slow down" when passing emergency vehicles. The bill's author, Republican Rep. Mike Beard, says anecdotal evidence suggests the current rules could be doing more harm than good.

Next Up