MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota deputy, fed up with drivers not moving over when they see lights and sirens, took action this week.
More than 650,000 people have seen the post on Facebook by Chisago County Deputy Jim Mott.
Thousands have shared it, and shared in his frustration.
Mott calls Sunday night his tipping point.
“It was a life-or-death situation going on. The victim was in cardiac arrest,” Mott said.
He got behind the wheel of the ambulance so paramedics could focus solely on saving the patient.
“My focus was to get the victim and the paramedics to the hospital as safely but as quickly as possible, and I wasn’t able to do that due to motorists not yielding to the ambulance,” Mott said.
He says each day, he sees people slowing down, even moving over — but not stopping.
“The law is when you have an on-coming emergency vehicle, you need to pull off onto the shoulder, the right shoulder, and you need to come to a complete stop until the emergency vehicle passes,” he said.
Mott says he passed more than 100 cars on Sunday, and not one complied with the law. Then as he was attempting to exit off Interstate 35, a car moving slowly by on the right shoulder almost made him miss it.
“It causes a delay in getting the victim to the hospital. Therefore, minutes could be life or death,” he said.
Mott estimates drivers slowed him down by three to five minutes. The patient did not make it. He does not know if that time would have made a difference.
“I did everything that I could. The paramedics did everything they could to try to save her. I’m not trying to blame the motorists, but I do believe this was a team effort, and they didn’t pull their weight here. They have to comply with the state law,” Mott said.
He says he decided to publicly share his frustration because he wants drivers to ask themselves: “What if that was your loved one?”
He asks drivers to be aware and, if safe, to move over and stop when they see and hear an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens on.