MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been almost 20 years since the death of a state trooper that led to a change in how Minnesotans drive.

After Corporal Ted Foss was killed while conducting a traffic stop on the shoulder of Interstate 90, advocates — including his mother — fought to make the “Move Over” law a reality.

The law requires drivers, when possible, to stay more than one lane away from stopped vehicles with flashing lights.

Foss left behind a wife and two children. His brother, William Foss, says he still misses him “dearly.”

“It’s been a tough 20 years,” William Foss said. “We’d go pheasant hunting, and we’d get together every year to do some fall hunting.”

Lt. Gordon Shank with the Minnesota State Patrol says troopers appreciate the “Move Over” law every day.

“It’s a tough spot to be in when you’re on the freeway,” Shank said. “You’re out there working. That’s our office, so we ask for some space when we work, and if you can’t move over, slow down. State law says you have to at least slow down for us if you can’t move a lane over.”

In addition to police, the law also applies to emergency vehicles, tow trucks and construction workers. Drivers can get cited up to four hours after violating the law.

“I hope the ‘Move Over’ law has helped our public employees, that they can go home at night safe, because inattentive driving is no excuse to lose someone’s life,” William Foss said.

Shank says Foss’s story is part of their training, and teaches them to be hyper-vigilant.

“We’re always checking back because cars do hit us, hit our squads,” he said. “We’ve had plenty of troopers that do get hit. Thankfully we haven’t lost a trooper in that situation since.”

William Foss says his brother was a man of integrity who was dedicated to his job, and good at it.

“We miss Ted as a family, and I think the state of Minnesota misses him also,” he said.

William says Ted knew from an early age what his career was going to be.

David Schuman

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