Reporting Kate Raddatz
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Drivers who don’t move over for state troopers have become a growing problem.
Dash cam video shows the most recent accident when a squad car was hit by a passing car on Friday.
State trooper Robert Rawson, and the person he was helping, suffered only minor injuries.
But it was the 10th accident involving State Patrol squads so far in 2013. Four of those crashes happened in March alone.
“I’m constantly checking when I get out of the car, looking back as you’re approaching the car,” Rawson said. “Making sure the traffic lane is clear before I get out.”
It’s the same routine Rawson did on Friday, when he was helping a driver on the side of the road whose car had stalled. When the two of them got into his squad car, it was struck as the driver of the other car failed to follow the “move over” law.
“In the last two weeks we’ve had four squads hit two troopers, and injure them while attending to crashes or other incidents on the side of the road,” Lt. Eric Roeske said.
Since 2010 there’s been 79 trooper squads hit.
Trooper Ted Foss was killed in 2000 by a passing vehicle during a routine traffic stop on I-90 in Winona. Officers say often times people don’t know they’re supposed to move over.
The state patrol hopes showing dash cam videos will help drivers realize they should take the time to move over, and avoid a crash.
“Slow down — people are going way too fast on dry roads,” Rawson said. “I mean even with the dry roads, it’s still dangerous.”
The State Patrol says if drivers fail to move over for an officer in a squad car on the side of the road with their emergency lights on, he or she is breaking the law and the ticket could cost more than $100.