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Moving over can mean the difference of life or death

From the WisDOT

Law enforcement officials, county maintenance workers, tow truck drivers and other emergency responders, are joining together to send a life-saving reminder to motorists – watch the road ahead carefully and be ready to move over, or at least slow down – when approaching stopped emergency and roadside service vehicles that have their warning lights flashing.

It’s not just common sense, it’s also the law, in this case, the Move Over Law.

“Any time we stop along a highway to assist at a crash scene or speak with a motorist, one of our major concerns is the potential to be struck by a passing vehicle,” said Trooper James Kicmol, a 29-year Wisconsin State Patrol veteran. “The Move Over Law helps protect motorists and emergency responders who often must work just feet away from traffic.”

Kicmol is well aware of the danger, as this past June, he was conducting a traffic stop along eastbound I-94, when a semi-truck crashed into the rear of his patrol vehicle. Fortunately, there were no significant injuries, however, both vehicles sustained considerable damage and had to be towed from the scene.

Wisconsin’s Move Over Law requires drivers to move out of the lane closest to vehicles that are stopped along a highway with their warning lights activated. If a driver is unable to move over, then they must slow down. The law applies to law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, tow trucks, utility or highway maintenance vehicles.

Violations can result in a citation ($263) – or worse – a deadly crash. Since 2017, there have been 2,034 traffic convictions in Wisconsin, for violating the Move Over Law.

“The safety of the traveling public will always be our primary focus, but at the same time, I’m very concerned about the safety of our law enforcement officers and all roadside workers,” said Wisconsin State Patrol superintendent Tony Burrell. “Drivers are responsible to maintain safe control of their vehicle at all times and that includes watching their speed, being alert and moving over for emergency responders, as required by law.”