Recent Accidents Have Troopers Reminding People Of LawEight Minnesota Troopers were struck by vehicles in a recent three day period. Events that caused safety concerns beyond Minnesota's borders. Both North Dakota and Minnesota have the "Move Over" law.
Eight Minnesota Troopers were struck by vehicles in a recent three day period. Events that caused safety concerns beyond Minnesota's borders.
The North Dakota trooper I talked with today says this happens in North Dakota as well and it's not a good way for drivers to be reminded of the law.
Thirty-one Minnesota State troopers have been hit on the side of the road since November, more than double the number during the same period last year.
The high volume of accidents has caught the attention of troopers in other States, as well.
"I don't know how you would measure which State is more dangerous, but I could tell you even in States where you wouldn't expect it like Florida and South Carolina they have troopers getting hit too." North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Robson said.
In both Minnesota and North Dakota there is a "Move Over" law requiring people to move to the far lane if a squad car or emergency vehicle is on the side of the road.
"Everytime you turn on the red lights that possibility exists so our troopers are always watching in their rear view mirror they're always looking over their shoulder." Robson said.
If a driver does not move to the far lane or slow down if they are unable to move over, there are fines.
In Minnesota the fines can be from 115 to 125-dollars.
North Dakota...a 50-dollar fine and if an accident is caused...2 points off your license.
"Common sense wise one would think that a higher fine will change behavior but there are some people that commit traffic violations and I don't care what price tag you put on it." Robson said.
Although fines have not stopped these accidents from happening. Troopers hope people will use more caution next time they're on the road.
"You need to move over to the left lane, if you don't do that not only are you risking the life of that officer, or construction worker or DOT employee but you're also committing a violation of law that you can be stopped and cited for." Robson said.
Robson says he, along with other troopers in his department have been hit before. He says slow down, pay attention to your surroundings and follow the law.