ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Motorists in Minnesota had better move over for emergency responders Wednesday.

Police agencies statewide will be stepping up enforcement of the state’s “Ted Foss Move Over Law.” Wednesday marks the 11th anniversary of the death of Trooper Ted Foss.

Foss was killed Aug. 31, 2000, by a passing vehicle after he had pulled a vehicle over for speeding on I-90 in Winona.

Under the law, motorists traveling on a road with two or more lanes must keep over one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles that have flashing lights activated. Drivers must reduce speed if they are unable to safely move over a lane.

Fines can top $100.

So far this year, the State Patrol has cited 728 motorists for move over violations. Nine troopers have been hurt.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (52)
  1. EJE says:

    Good luck! If people in this state can’t figure out how to turn on their headlights in the rain, I’m pretty sure they won’t be able to figure this one out. (BTW- I am in full support of this law)

    1. Mike says:

      I would like to see some metrics on if this law actually prevents accidents. The people that run into cops on the side of the road are obiviously not paying attention, so how would a law forcing people to move over cause these accidents to stop? If the person is not paying attention anyway they will not move over either.

  2. Ellen says:

    Agree with EJE. Most times when I pull over for an ambulance, the fools
    in front of me seem oblivious and stay in the lane. Wake up people!
    Get off the cellphone and get your mind on your driving and what’s going
    on around you!

    I see young mothers with a car full of kids, blabbing away on their cells.
    When their kids start driving a few years down the road, how can they
    tell their KIDS not to be on the phone when they themselves are guilty
    as sin! This goes for the dads too by the way.

  3. dan cunningham says:

    Welcome to less government. No enforcement available means laws do not exist. The speed limit signs should have two numbers. One for the left lane passers, whose agendas are obviously more important then law abiding right laners. The first number should be the maximum speed passers can legally obtain, just before lift-off!

    Hats off to EJE & Ellen’s comments…

  4. Steve says:

    I write citations for this violation EVERY time I stop a driver for it. Even if you’re unaware of the law, common courtesy would dictate that you give some room to any vehicle stopped on the side of the freeway; especially one with emergency lights activated. I have the right to safely return home to my family every night.

    1. @wanna be stevie says:

      keep wishin..stop lying though

      1. Steve says:

        Sorry, I guess I did lie. I gave one warning when my ticket writer wouldn’t print because the USB connection went into sleep mode and the program gave me a “No printer attached” error message.

        1. wannabe stevie says:

          go back to your security job at TJ Maxx & stop wishin you were a anybody can be what they want & you chose the lame.

          1. Steve says:

            And anyone can call someone a liar on the internet, but that doens’t make it so. I know what I do for a living and am completely comfortable posting my LE opinions and experiences online. Don’t be mad becuase I was hired years ago when there was a good economy. Keep fighting with 400 other applicants for a single opening and maybe someday you’ll be a cop too.

  5. Dumb people says:

    @bad drivers- it’s not the somali’s or non English speaking people that’s causing theses accidents… It’s the rednecks that feel like their trucks and SUVs are invincible and own the road, while talking on the phone or texting while driving. Actually the minority drivers aren’t the ones to worry about on the freeway because these “people” don’t have the need for speed as YOU english speaking people…

    I do agree with the one lane over law and am anxious to see today and this weekend how many people get pulled over for failure to oblige.

    1. Metal DJ says:

      I love how you think anybody in a truck or, SUV is a “redneck”. Aren’t you libs supposed to be tolerant, and not resort to steretyping.

    2. Dave's Not Here says:

      Rednecks? Which rednecks plowed into State Troopers on the side of the road?

      I want specific examples or else I want you to admit you made it all up to sound good but failed.

  6. Todd says:

    While I am in full support of this law and its enforement, there are several situations where I have seen traffic stops performed in outright dangerous places. Bottoms of on-ramps, inside nearly blind curves at merge point (hwy 280 north at 35W for example), and on the left sholuder/median (94 wb between in Snelling and Cretin on the curve during rush hour). Accidents are another matter and those places cannot be planned for, but traffic infractions should not be done in a manner than endangers everybody.

    1. Troop in the Loop says:

      @Todd-Just an FYI for you…the police don’t always control the place of the traffic stop. I’ve had lights on for 1/4 mile before the driver stopped…in a blind curve…or IN THE TRAFFIC LANE. We are trained to choose safe stop locations, but the driver doesn’t always cooperate. Also, simply because you see an officer on the side of the road with a vehicle doesn’t mean the officer is on a traffic stop. Mechanical problems, flat tires, crashes, etc dictate where the vehicle stops more often than we do.

  7. Mike says:

    I move over everytime I can, but the their are time during rush hour and heavier traffic that you may not be able to see a law enforcement officer with someone pulled over until the last minute and I don’t find it safe to make a last second lane change possible cutting someone of or being cut off. I understand that our police need to me safe while on the side of the road, but drivers also deserve the same curtousy.

  8. gdog says:

    Cops are always happy to pull you over if they think you have money and can pay the fine. It’s too bad they can’t use their time more wisely and start cracking down on real crimes.

    1. GH says:

      Speeding is a crime! I’m not saying I don’t do it because I do from time to time, but don’t act like it’s not a crime because it is. It doesn’t matter why the officer is on the side of the road SIMPLY MOVE OVER!! And to the guy who blamed the officers for the left side pull overs…thats the idiots who don’t know the rules and just stop wherever they want.

      1. Steve says:

        Speeding is not a “crime”, it’s an offense since there is no jail time attached to a standard speeding violation.

    2. TL says:

      as opposed to the fake ones that are out there………..

      your comment is as old as law enforcement itself.

      1. GH says:

        I hope you never call 911. Better yet, I hope nobody comes to your aid when you’re in need!! People hate the cops until they need them.

    3. Pete says:

      @gdog… You are an idiot sir. Just sayin’.

      1. Dave's Not Here says:

        Beyond an idiot. He should be in a supervised group home for mentally disabled adults.

    4. Otto says:

      breaking the law…any law…makes it a real crime. Your lack of ability to grasp this concept is scary

  9. TL the alligator says:

    …,.How about ticketing these morons who refuse to move right and get out of the way of FASTER traffic?, its these idiots who cause traffic congestion and accidents.

    1. Maddog says:

      If they’re going the speed limit that’s all the faster they are supposed to be going. Speeding is against the law. It’s the people who don’t signal that make me mad.

      1. Julio says:

        Who said anything about them doing the speed limit in the left lane? Anyway, everyone knows that the speed limit is just a number to be broken in the left lane, and if you personally never go over the speed limit, then do the rest of us a favor, get over, to the cell phone / texting / gawker / old person / Maddog right lane and let the rest of us roll the dice.

        1. Maddog says:

          Tell that to the cop the next time you get pulled over for speeding, that the speed limit is just a number to be broken if you’re in the left lane.

        2. red says:

          sounds like you do both of these things Julio speed and don’t use your signals- just sayin

  10. Travis says:

    I agree with what many people are saying. It’s only right to give a little extra room to emergency vehicles. That being said, there are situations where you come upon it suddenly and can’t move over without potentially causing an accident. The other thing that happens when someone is pulled over, an accident has occurred, or someone’s got a flat is the gawk factor. When people need to look at what’s going on, they also slow down suddenly potentially causing more accidents. My suggestion for those officers who need to pull someone over is to use the microphone in their car to tell the person to pull over at the next available exit. It’s much safer there and will not goof up the traffic flow for others just trying to get home safely.

    1. Realist says:

      “If you are not able to safely move a lane away, reduce your speed.”

      1. Ruth says:

        That’s right; sometimes it is impossible to move safely to the next lane due to high volume traffic, etc.

        Another thought, why don’t troopers and those vehicles that are stopped move as far as possible OFF the driving lane/shoulder? I’ve seen way too many that are NOT out of harm’s way.

        1. Steve says:

          We off-set our vehicles to try to create a safety zone to work in when we’re talking to the driver we just stopped. I do my best to keep my squad on the shoulder, but sometimes the driver will not pull over far enough or they’ll stop somewhere that doesn’t have a full size shoulder.

  11. says:

    Most of it is due to gay activity in the front seats of these cooper automobiles.

    1. red says:

      haha thanks for the good laugh at the office

  12. mike says:

    hey minn state troopers why dont you move to a safe location, just just common sense, would it be better to move one mile to save a life, really lets start using some common sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Otto says:

      It’s difficult to move an accident scene to a safer location. Do you ever think before you speak?

  13. Marcia says:

    Police officers, highway patrol, etc deserve our respect and we need to obey the law. Until one or two show they don’t deserve our respect obey the law. What is this society coming to? Some comments are disgusting. Don’t include old people in your comment Julio. I would put up my driving against anyone teen, 20, 30 etc. Try not grouping people together, black, red, young, old. Whatever color you are or nationality if one person is a bad egg or gets in trouble do you want everyone to think you are the same? In other words, think before writing!!!! I really wish that Highway Patrol or Police officers would use the passenger side window to get license or write tickets for safety. Sometimes you can’t get over and some drivers to your left don’t like you to have even a couple of inches so you can move safely by

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      To be fair, Marcia, I’d put my driving up against any female in Minnesota.

      You all are the least considerate, least capable, and THE ABSOLUTELY LEAST situationally aware drivers on the road.

      “Who can I call, who can I text?” is the motto of women drivers in Minnesota.

      Have you ever seen a woman get into a car in a parking lot and NOT be on her phone by the time she’s exiting the parking lot?

      Me either….

      1. jan says:

        I am a woman and I have never driven while on my phone. In fact, it’s turned off in the car. But my son, on the other hand…..

      2. Ruth says:

        As a woman I resent your “Who can I call, who can I text?” line. I do not use my cell phone for calling or answering when I’m behind the wheel, and I do not have texting as an option. Anyone who can’t keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel should not be driving.

        1. Dave's Not Here says:

          You are the only two women on Earth who do not use your phones while driving then.

          Also, judging by your names, I’d guess you’re both over 50, which puts you out of the demographic that is doing this most of the time.

          But even you have to admit how many young females you see who are thinking on the way to their car about all the people they’ll call and text on their way to wherever they’re going.

  14. Doug T says:

    How many accidents will now occur as people try and more into other lanes? They do this already (for no apparent reasons – and of course no blinker) – How about giving them a ticket [ Illegal lane change?] – or is it not cost affective? Really driving is a cooperative activity and both sides need to consider the other.

    Of course just like the road workers – if you step out into traffic you might get hit…. State Security Commissars are not Supermen – really….

  15. Doug T says:

    But this is minnesota – so with one more law the world will now be perfect…..Until we need another law to tell us what to do…..

    Where is the common sense? Between the rubberneckers and cell phoners – its not an easy place to drive – if your trying to get somewhere…



    1. Realist says:

      You’re an idiot.

    2. MetroCopper says:

      Whatever, tough guy. Who you gonna call when your boyfriend starts slapping you with his purse cuz he caught you playin tummy sticks with someone else?

  17. Marcia says:

    Response to Dave’s Not Here—II drive in the right lane unless I need to pass and then I move over. I don’t use my cell phone on the road unless it is an emergency (doesn’t happen) and then I pull over to use it if I can. Yes I have seen many women using their cell phones walking to the car, but I also see a fair amount of men also (especially men in pickups). Look around you some time and count how many have their ears to a phone. I agree there are many drivers (men & women) that are not aware of any situation around them a great deal of the time, but I am not one of them. People need to go home and make their calls, drink their coffee and whatever else they do in their vehicle and do it in their homes! I like people Dave. It sound like you dislike women. How many tickets accidents in how many years of driving can you claim?

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      On the contrary. I do not dislike women. I dislike females who refuse to stop texting or talking the entire time they drive. It’s not like they’re making one or two necessary calls. They’re doing constant talking, constant texting. I have been taking pictures lately of all the women putting their makeup on at stoplights, or texting while driving at freeway speeds. I have quite a collection.

      I was in an accident once when a woman rear-ended me at a stoplight. Last year a female hmong rear-ended my wife’s van on 94/35e junction and totalled it. My sister has been hit twice by hmong females, totalling two vehicles.

      I had a speeding ticket about 4 years ago coming home on 35 from Duluth. Before that it had been since 2000 since I had a moving violation.

      1. Ellen says:

        Regarding the whole men/women controversy: Yep…I see young women
        on the phone. Also see MANY men in huge pickups pulling huge contractor
        trails while ON THE PHONE! No excuse for any of them to be on the phone.
        Focus on DRIVING, people!