New law requires drivers to move over for highway workersThe state law that requires drivers on multi-lane highways to move one lane away from emergency vehicles on the roadway or shoulder now will include road repair equipment as well,
The state law that requires drivers on multi-lane highways to move one lane away from emergency vehicles on the roadway or shoulder now will include road repair equipment as well, according to the Minnesota departments of Public Safety and Transportation.
The change in the law took effect August 1.
The law was named in honor of State Patrol officer Ted Foss who was killed in 2000 by an errant driver during a traffic stop on Interstate 90 in Winona County. Foss was a 1985 graduate of the Alexandria Technical College law enforcement program.
Department officials said the change is needed due to the increasing number of crashes that involve highway workers performing construction, maintenance or emergency repair work.
“The law requires motorists to move at least one lane away from emergency vehicles with emergency lights activated,” said State Patrol Lieutenant Mark Peterson.
“Motorists who cannot safely move over should safely reduce their speed,” he said. “Failure to take these actions can result in a traffic ticket.”
In one recent incident on Interstate 94 near Monticello, a truck driver veered into an inside lane where pothole repair work was under way.
The truck passed by two Mn/DOT guard vehicles before it crashed into a pickup truck and an SUV. Fortunately, the truck went into the ditch before it could reach workers on the ground.
There were no injuries reported.
“That was a close call. We’ve had too may close calls and actual crashes in recent years,” said Bob Winter, Mn/DOT’s operations director.
During the last three years, the State Patrol has issued more than 1,000 “Move Over” citations.
“Law enforcement, emergency responders and road crews serve to keep roads safe for the motoring public,” Peterson said.
“It’s the responsibility of motorists to pay attention to ensure the safety of those performing what are often life-saving duties on the state’s highways.”