A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper was fortunate to sustain only minor injuries when his cruiser, which was stopped on the side of a highway with its emergency lights activated, was hit in the rear by a vehicle in December. The trooper reported, “I sustained minor injuries but will live to serve another day without permanent or life-altering effects. Other troopers have not been so lucky, losing limbs or their lives.”
To provide a safety zone for law enforcement officers and other workers on the side of roadways, drivers must comply with Wisconsin’s Move Over Law.
“Drivers are required to shift lanes if possible or at least slow down when encountering a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, highway maintenance vehicle or utility vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing. On interstate highways and other divided roads with multiple directional lanes, you must move over to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if you can safely switch lanes,” says State Patrol Captain Adrian Logan of the North Central Region. “If the road has a single directional lane or you can’t safely move over because of traffic, you must reduce your speed until safely past the vehicle.”
A citation for a Move Over Law violation costs $263.50 with three demerit points added to your driver’s license.
“During winter months, law enforcement officers, tow truck operators and others frequently must respond to crashes and assist motorists whose vehicles have slid off icy roads. Officers and other workers are in danger of being hit while inside or outside their vehicles by out-of-control or speeding vehicles that did not move over,” Captain Logan says. “Drivers have a legal and moral responsibility to help protect those who must work on the side of busy roads.
By obeying the Move Over Law, drivers can protect themselves, their passengers, our officers and others who work on highways from serious injuries and deaths.”