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09-28-07, 02:54 PM #1
Virginia’s “move over” law is widely ignored
Very true - I pass troopers and county cops every day who have stopped people, and very few people are willing to make a simple lane change to give them some safety room. Most people seem to think it means one less cop to catch them speeding, so they increase their speed instead of slowing and giving the guy room.
A law designed to protect law enforcement officers on the highway seems to be widely ignored. The so called “move over” law requires motorists to move over to a lane when they see police along the right shoulder of the highway. But it seems not everybody is following the law.
In the last 10 years, 150 law enforcement officers have died in traffic related deaths nationwide. On Wednesday, a State Ttrooper in our area was hit by a car after responding to a vehicle fire on I-95.
The ‘move over’ law is only about 5 years old and says as long as its safe, drivers must move over at least one lane, and slow down, any time they see flashing blue lights.
“In the wake of Trooper Middleton being struck two nights ago, we're using that opportunity to appeal to motorists a sense of what's right and wrong, and its absolutely right to move over a lane to the left or right," says Sgt. Tom Cunningham of the Virginia State Police.
But whether some drivers still don't know the law or just choose to ignore it, it appears compliance is nowhere near 100 percent.
As we photographed our report, car after car failed to move over. As we watched, of the hundreds of cars driving by, we found that 7 out of 10 cars that could have moved over safely didn't.
“Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised,” says Sgt. Cunningham. “It’s discouraging that we don't have 100 percent compliance, because it is a matter of life and death."
State Police say they're strictly enforcing the law and while it is a misdemeanor, it’s as serious as a DUI or reckless driving charge.
09-28-07, 03:25 PM #2
I think it's widely ignored every state it's a law in. I see some LEO's pulled off to the side of the road, with their lights on, fishing for "move over" violations. Not me, I'm not putting myself in extra danger to catch a move over violation, when I don't have a legitimate purpose to be on the side of the road.
09-28-07, 03:58 PM #3
09-28-07, 04:55 PM #4The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.
09-28-07, 07:08 PM #5http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon
Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.
09-28-07, 08:07 PM #6
What gets me is that most of the time it's no big deal to get over. Sometimes the idiot in the other lane won't allow you to into the lane, but really, if the space is there, why the hell not? Too complicated for the idiot behind the wheel?\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
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09-28-07, 08:09 PM #7
Haven't actually "fished" for it since it came into effect here, but I have stopped for it before. Have seen some guys wheel in behind a car already on a stop to get a few stops on that."Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228
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09-28-07, 08:22 PM #8
I see no problem with fishing... as long as the stop is a warning and not a cite. It gets the law on driver's minds, especially if the law is fairly new, like here.*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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09-28-07, 08:41 PM #9
wish we had that.
09-28-07, 09:11 PM #10
I've never "fished', but I've stopped for it.
The MN law was developed after a state trooper in my county was killed. He was hit (out of his squad), along with his squad, and the violators card, by a Fedex truck/semi on Interstate 90.
http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=15443No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
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09-28-07, 09:34 PM #11PeterJasonMN Guest
Our accident recon instructor is MSP out of Carlton County. For his class he used the crash scene pictures for part of the lecture.
So here's us in class looking at this .ppt presentation on a 10'x10' (if not larger) screen and in one of the pics you see some linkage...some bolts...and...Well, let's just say the rest of the day was a very somber occaision, and I can still see that pic if I close my eyes and think about it.
09-29-07, 01:55 AM #12
It's very rare where I will actually see people move over when an Officer has someone stopped on the shoulder here, too.
I know a couple Officers who "piggyback" when it's slow. Officer 1 will find a simple violation and make a traffic stop. Officer 2 will wait about 30 feet back to see the first person who doesn't move over (if possible) while going by Officer 1. Officer 2 will pull over that person. When Officer 1 is done with his stop, he does the same for Officer 2. They work their way up the entire highway doing this and I think it's great!Calm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
09-29-07, 02:48 AM #13
We're not allowed to work the interstate that runs right through the middle of our town, so I wouldn't know. It's not a real important, major road though..it's just I-35..sure we'd never get any trafficking arrests and vehicle seizures out there......
09-29-07, 05:02 AM #14
I'm going to court in November for a "move over" cite I wrote. This guy has no prayer of winning considering he has no clue what I put in my call notes =)
- No other traffic around to prevent compliance with state statute
- "I wasn't paying attention" - quote from the driverThe views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
09-29-07, 05:13 AM #15
I had my first stop for this last week. I was with two other officers at a motorcycle crash scene when a Bravada goes by without getting over or slowing down. I leave one guy there and the other follows me as I stop the truck. Turns out the guy and his friends were all drunk leaving one of our local gentleman's clubs. Hooked him for DUI and towed the truck.
09-29-07, 05:52 AM #16
First, again, I would not fish for these violations. Why? The law is the law because it's dangerous to officers and has resulted in death and serious injury. So knowing that, why am I going to purposely do this without an actual reason, just to catch a violator. Not worth the safety risk to me, unless I am already legitimately out on a stop and observe the violation.
Now to my pot stirring. Ken, you don't mind LEO's fishing for this violation as long as they warn them. Why? If your excuse is the law is new, is it not up to the citizens to know their laws and rights? Since when is ignorance an excuse to any law?
09-29-07, 06:03 AM #17
09-29-07, 11:31 AM #18The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of WarVerified LEO
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When I was in patrol, and this law was new in VA, I thought about fishing for it. We have several unmarked cars, and my idea was to stage a stop using one of the unmarked as the violator... then let them go after the idiots who don't move over.
Never did it, for lots of reasons... but the bottom line to me was simple. To do so would create too much disruption and risk for too little benefit. Instead, just keep it in mind, and use it when the opportunity presents itself. Now, if there have been spcific problems, or in response to an incident in the area... Go fishing.
09-29-07, 02:15 PM #19
I totally understand the fact that traffic stops are dangerous. I also see why some of you don't "fish" for the move-over violations because it's putting added risk to yourselves. However, what do you think is the best way to let the public know about this generally new law? Word of mouth for being pulled over for it, or should it be more heavily advertised to the public? Let's face it, most people don't even know it exists! Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but I'd rather people know about it to make if safer out there on the streets for all Officers. Just wanting some different opinions here...Calm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
09-29-07, 03:03 PM #20
I wish our politicians would even stop to consider putting such a law onto the statute books!
If I can get it I'll post a picture of one of our cars struck while on the hardshoulderthe sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
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