Four State Trooper squads struck in March
So far this year, a total of 10 state trooper squad cars have been struck while parked during assists to other motorists, the Minnesota State Patrol reported today.
Of those accidents, four occurred in March, with the tenth squad hit last Friday, March 29. Two troopers have been injured in the crashes.
The March crashes occurred:
-March 18 on Hwy. 169. State Patrol squad was parked on shoulder and as the trooper exited the vehicle, a vehicle rear-ended the squad.
-March 18 on I-35W. Trooper was assisting motorist in a ditch, when a passing semitrailer side-swiped the trooper’s squad.
-March 19 on Hwy. 52 south of Cannon Falls. Trooper was assisting a tow company with a vehicle in a ditch when another vehicle lost control, slid sideways and struck the squad.
-March 29 on I-694. Trooper was rear-ended by a passing vehicle.
Since 2010, there have been a total of 79 trooper squads hit.
The crashes are a reminder for motorists to drive at safe speeds, pay attention and move over for emergency responders on the shoulder of the road with their emergency lights activated.
“The job of emergency responders is to help and assist the motoring public, and it is important that motorists assist us by moving over so we can provide our services safely,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol.
In Minnesota, motorists must move over for stopped emergency vehicles that have their emergency lights activated in order to give emergency responders room on the road to conduct their work safely.
State Patrol Trooper Ted Foss was killed in 2000 by a passing vehicle as he was performing a traffic stop on the shoulder of I-90 in southern Minnesota.
The state now has a Ted Foss “Move Over” Law, which states:
-When traveling on a road with two or more lanes, you must keep over one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated — ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance and construction vehicles.
-Reduce speed if you are unable to safely move over a lane.
-Failing to take these actions endangers personnel who provide critical and life-saving services. Fines can exceed $100.