More state troopers will be on Minnesota roads Sunday in an effort to remind drivers of the move over law.
The Minnesota State Patrol is using the tragic anniversary of State Patrol Trooper Ted Foss' death to remind motorists to move over when they see emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the side of the road.
Trooper Ted Foss was struck and killed by a passing vehicle while making a traffic stop on Interstate 90 in Winona on Aug. 31, 2000. His death resulted in the legislation of Minnesota’s move over law, enacted in 2001, which requires that on a road with two or more lanes going the same direction, motorists must move over one full lane from stopped emergency vehicles and tow trucks with flashing lights.
If a motorist can't move over safely, they must slow down or they could be fined over $100.
“If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road, you may have experienced how unnerving it can be to have a car speed by feet or even inches,” Lt. Col. Matt Langer, acting chief, Minnesota State Patrol, said in a news release. “Now imagine if you experienced that day-in and day-out for your job. We ask motorists to pay attention and move over so those working along the roadway have a safer space to do their jobs.”
Sgt. Scott Wahl says he's yet to see a day where drivers are 100 percent compliant with the move over law, Channel 12 News reports.
"You know, there are times again where you don't have the ability to move over," Wahl told Channel 12 News. "Pay attention to your driving. Acknowledge our presence. Change your driving behavior. There's no reason we should be hit on the side of the road."
Earlier this year, officials said the number of squad cars getting struck on state roadways was on the rise, which usually has to do with wintry road conditions. But officials note that it can happen anytime, saying Foss was hit and killed on a bright summer day.
Also over the holiday weekend, nearly 400 law enforcement agencies stepped up patrols looking for drunken drivers.