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State Troopers on Roads to Help Drivers Follow New Law

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State Troopers Launch Campaign to Transition Drivers Into New Law

State troopers launched a campaign this weekend to help drivers transition to a new law that motorists must move over or slow down when they see emergency vehicles on the sides of the road.  State troopers monitored Interstate 96 and U.S. 127 starting July 25 and stopped drivers not wearing seat belts or those speeding, while also looking for drivers who don’t follow the new “move over” law.

Who Will Get Pulled Over Under the New Law

State troopers say that the law is clearly not merely about instituting the “move over” law that came into effect in 2001.  The law is meant to protect officers, as 3 out of 5 of the last officers killed were struck by vehicles while in action.  Troopers say that drivers won’t be pulled over if they are unable to get over because of the flow of traffic, but if they do have the opportunity and don’t get over, they will likely be stopped.  Troopers also believe that most people are not trying to blatantly break the law; many do not realize that they need to get into a safe lane when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.

Troopers Use Other Tactics to Protect Themselves

Troopers also use other means to protect themselves during routine traffic stops and other emergency situations, although the “move over” law will help substantially.  Several troopers have suffered severe injuries, including severe traumatic brain injuries.  For example, Trooper Drew Spencer of the Lansing post was struck in 2011 on I-96 and spent three weeks in the hospital with a severe brain injury.  He has also suffered other medical problems related to the accident, but has since returned to work.  Other tactics that troopers use to protect themselves include pulling over as far as they can on the side of the road (called “offsetting” so that if a car does strike, it hits the police vehicle first); approaching vehicles from the passenger side; and using the public address system to tell cars to get over if necessary.