ST. PAUL, Minn. — Motorists who fail to move over for a stopped emergency or maintenance vehicle with its emergency lights on may soon be seeing another set of flashing lights in their mirror. Law enforcement agencies around the state will be increasing enforcement of the Ted Foss Move Over law Aug. 31 to remind motorists that emergency responders need room on the road to conduct their work safely.
The move over law is named after State Patrol Trooper Ted Foss, who was killed 13 years ago by a passing vehicle as he was making a traffic stop on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in Winona.
Minnesota’s “move over” law means:
- When traveling on a road with two or more lanes, motorists must keep over one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated — ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance and construction vehicles.
- Motorists must reduce speed if they 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.
“The side of any road can be a very dangerous place, especially for emergency and maintenance personnel who are there to provide a service that helps keep our roads safe for everyone,” says Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “We ask all motorists to do their part by safely moving over one lane to help ensure everyone’s safety.
In addition to the one-day move over enforcement effort, law enforcement will be continuing a statewide DWI crackdown scheduled to run through Labor Day. The enforcement campaigns are being coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. 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 trauma response.