By Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol is urging motorists to move over following the Jan. 17 crash where a state trooper was struck by a vehicle while assisting a motorist on Interstate 35W near Forest Lake.

State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske says motorists need to drive at safe speeds for road conditions. He also says that motorists who are waiting for assistance need to stay in the vehicles with their seat belts fastened.

“Winter road conditions can lead to an increased number of vehicles going off the road, and as a result, more emergency responders are called on to assist on the shoulder of the road,” said Roeske. “Motorists need to be alert for flashing lights and move over to ensure we can do our jobs safely and the people we are attending to are out of danger.”

Since Nov. 1, 22 trooper vehicles have been hit (compared to 10 during the same period last year) and five troopers have been injured (compared to four during the same period last year).

Minnesota’s “Move Over” law, which is 10 years old, was enacted after state trooper Ted Foss was killed by a passing vehicle while he was conducting a traffic stop on the shoulder of I-90 in Winona in 2000.

The law specifies that motorists, when traveling on a road with two or more lanes, must keep over on full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated. If motorists are unable to safely move over a lane, they should reduce speeds.

Lt. Chris Edstrom, the trooper struck in the Jan. 17 crash, received only minor injuries.

Comments (18)
  1. zantooley says:

    I cant believe how many times I have read articles about this issue.
    Why is it so hard for people to move over. It is common sense.
    This should be a no brainer. It is just plain rudeness and not caring.
    There way too many people out there on the roads today with this (It`s all about me) driving attitude. From what I see when I am driving, there is no such thing as Minnesota Nice anymore. That went by the wayside years ago.

  2. Larsonian says:

    Touche’ zantooley! Totally agree. And get the heck out of the leftmost lane if you are driveing 5 miles UNDER the speed limit on dry, clear pavement. THIS kind of driving instills road rage in even the calmest & most considerate of drivers. Once again, the phrase “Common Sense” seems to be be in short supply on the Minnesota roads these days.

  3. linda says:

    and on top of the move out of the towing truck driver way .. geez people slow down and MOVE OVER

  4. Clarence says:

    About two weeks ago I was driving in the right lane of Hyway 100 south,(during rush hour). I was going the speed limit 60 m.p.h.about a half a mile from the Duluth st. exit when suddenly there’s a police car with lights flashing, and about 1/3 of his car was in my driving lane-I immediately slowed down, but had three cars behind me, and three cars to the left lane beside me-I couldn’t move over-I didn’t have a chance! So I just “drove through” hoping I would miss the cop-car, and I did, just by inches! The cops and troopers need to excercise caution too-and move their cars into the shoulder completely during rush-hour especially on the freeways etc.!!

    1. tammy says:

      First of all what are you doing driving 60 during rush hour – that is pretty much impossible. second if the emergency vehicle has its lights on and it not just magically appear in your driving lane. there more than likely was a reason for the cop car to be in the lane – trying to divert people away from the scene of an accident, etc. they do not just park a third of the way in a lane of traffic for no reason. my husband is a deputy and comes home often with stories of people not moving over and driving by at high rates of speed. people need to drive for the conditions and be thankful there are cops out there willing to make the roads safe.

      1. lalie says:

        I actually know where Clarence was talking about I lived over the, and there is a lil corner and b4 the roads curves You cant see what is on the other side curve. I have also known many of the cops in that area as friends and yea some cops should have to maybe do some update training from time to time just to keep things fresh. and as for him going 60 in that area, from 394 to about 42nd you are able to go the peed limit. But yes people do need to drive in correlation with the weather conditions. too many people are getting hurt these days by people who think they own the roads.

    2. billy says:

      I agree, I think some police are just looking for an accident waiting to happen.

      Police should move their car over more when stopped or pulling someone over.

  5. Bloomington says:

    What I notice is that as soon as I move over some idiot coming up behind me swings over to the right lane, speeds up to pass me and four other cars so they can be ahead, only to slam on the brakes when the front car goes back to the right lane.

    1. David says:

      Police put their vehicles into lanes to protect the driver ahead of them, so their car would get hit first and to encourage to move over otherwise you will hit

  6. Janelle says:

    Cop cars do not happen suddenly…. if you cannot see the flashing lights don’t drive! If you are not paying attention in which you should be, then own up to it.…Maybe the “suddenly the cop car appeared would be more believable”.

  7. hANNAH says:

    HI. I would move over to the left lane but you also have to remmber that is not always possible, because the left lane is also the “fast” lane, and sometimes it’s hard to get over to the left lane because people do go fast in that lane. So if you cannot get over in time to the left lane, JUST SLOW DOWN!!

  8. Scared Driver from Burnsville says:

    wow, the state patrol is actually out doing thier job?? Now we need them to patrol 35E, 694, 494, 94, and 77 for aggressive drivers and actually ticket them!! No more sitting in the donut shop.

  9. Tommy says:

    I’ve seen people driving while talk or text on the phone and don’t know where they are going these could be those people that hit the trooper too. Besides that some people keep their signal flashing on forever because they were on the phone what a idiot driver was.

  10. Todd says:

    While I do find it possible in most cases, there are a few times where I have seen the State Patrol or other law enforcement officers make bad choices for pulling people over (yeah, I am talking the Trooper on hwy 280 the runs the northbound speed trap). You need to give people a reasonable amount of visibility to see what is coming up. I drive a truck for a living, 95% of the time, there is no problem, but that other 5% it is just as much of the officer’s fault for bad planning as it is the motorist. Stopping cars in tight, blind corners or badly plowed roads isn’t helping the public safety.

  11. Kevin says:

    the move over law makes no sense because it assumes everybody sees the emergency vehicle. if you see the police car, you are not going to plow into it! the people that run into cops are the idiots driving around talking on cell phones, texting, reading,, you name it. the law won’t prevent them from hurting people

  12. Tc Radiodj says:

    What needs to happen is this law be treated the same as the drunk driver law. Loose drivers license for at least 6 months, then have to take it all over again including drivers ed. Maybe then, the stupid people that can’t figure out that flashing lights means slow down and/or move over!

    1. Ed says:

      Thats one of the dumbest things said yet. Great knee jerk reaction though.

  13. sam says:

    yeah the sacred heart cop he could be nice if you obey the law
    and dont do reckless driving there out there to do there job and its sad when u here stories like this.