It seems like the obvious thing to do, yet Minnesota motorists still fail to do it.
We're talking about moving over for stopped emergency and maintenance vehicles when you encounter them on the highway.
If you're driving down the interstate and you see, for example, a police officer stopped on the side of the road to write a ticket or talk to another motorist, it makes sense to get over into the other lane so that you don't put the life of that officer in danger. Or, if you're on a two-lane road and oncoming traffic makes it impossible for you to put some distance between you and the stopped vehicles, then it makes sense that you would slow down. In fact, it makes sense to move over or slow down for any vehicle stopped on the side of the road - whether it's an emergency vehicle, a maintenance vehicle or just someone who has stopped for whatever reason.
And yet, so many drivers don't move over that lawmakers deemed it necessary to enact a law that requires motorists to switch lanes. The "Ted Foss Move Over Law" - named for Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Ted Foss, who was killed nine years ago by a driver who was not paying attention and drifted onto the shoulder while Mr. Foss was making a traffic stop - requires motorists to move over or slow down for any emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road. The Legislature this year added road construction and maintenance vehicles to that list as well.
While we've never been big fans of government intrusion on personal liberties, this is a law that makes sense. Driving is not a right, but a privilege, and with that privilege comes the responsibility to drive safely.
Now, if only something could be done to keep drivers off cell phones.
- Owatonna People's Press
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