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In Minnesota, flashing lights mean “move over” in Minnesota — it’s the law. The law was named in honor of State Patrol Cpl. Ted Foss who was killed 16 years ago when he was hit by a passing vehicle during a traffic stop on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in Winona.

To increase awareness and prevent similar tragedies, the State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement of the Move Over law.

Minnesota’s Ted Foss Move Over law means:

If you are traveling on a roadway with two or more lanes, you must keep a full lane away when passing a stopped ambulance, fire truck, law enforcement vehicle, and emergency maintenance and construction vehicles that have flashing lights activated.

If you are not able to safely move a lane away, reduce your speed.

Failing to Move Over could result in a citation or a crash.

Ignoring this law endangers the personnel who provide critical and life-saving services.

“We work to keep the motoring public safe,” says Mark Griffith, executive director, South Central EMS. “We need the public to keep us safe by moving over a lane when they see flashing lights. If you are not able to move a lane away, reduce your speed.”

Dangers on the Shoulder

Minnesota State Patrol Vehicle Statistics:

· 2014 – 25 squads struck while parked; 4 Troopers injured.

· 2015 – 7 squads struck while parked; 2 Troopers injured.

· 2016 (YTD) – 9 squads struck while parked; 2 Troopers injured.

Move Over Citations (issued by Minnesota State Patrol)

· 2014 – 816 citations, 2,476 warnings.

· 2015 – 907 citations, 2,546 warnings.

· 2016 (YTD) – 448 citations, 1,387 warnings.

“Road safety is MnDOT’s number one priority, whether it’s for our workers, or for the driving public,” said Jed Falgren, area maintenance engineer, MnDOT. “We are doing all we can to reduce the number of highway deaths through our Toward Zero Deaths program.”

Last year, 109 MnDOT maintenance vehicles were involved in roadway crashes.

In August of 2015, Cordell Vaske was working with a crew on Interstate 90 when a crash cushion trailer connected to a tandem truck was hit by a minivan. The driver failed to merge due to inattentive driving. They hit the parked crash cushion trailer at 75 mph. Vaske and the occupants of the minivan received no injuries. Today he received the first “Saved by the Equipment” award.

The Ted Foss Move Over law enforcement effort is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response.

© 2015 KSUM KFMC


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