With 29 Washington State Patrol vehicles struck while conducting traffic stops or providing motorist assistance in 2016, the state patrol this week issued a reminder to drivers of the state’s Move Over law.
On New Year’s Day, a Washington State Patrol Trooper’s patrol car was struck while investigating a collision on I-5 in Everett. The collision occurred at 2:29 a.m., on Jan. 1, 2017, when a driver plowed into the back of a patrol vehicle while the trooper was investigating a collision on the right shoulder of northbound I-5 at milepost 195. The trooper was not injured; however, the driver that hit the trooper’s car sustained minor injuries and was arrested for suspicion of DUI.
This crash highlights not only the dangers of drinking and driving but also the problems of drivers not following the Move Over law, the state patrol said. This is the second WSP car that was hit by a suspected DUI driver in just over a one-month period in the Everett area. Statewide between Jan. 1, 2016 and Jan. 1, 2017, 29 WSP vehicles were struck while conducting traffic stops or providing motorist assistance. Eight out of the 29 WSP vehicles were struck by drivers that were arrested for DUI.
According to the Move Over Law, RCW 46.61.212, drivers approaching an emergency zone are required to either move over to another lane in the same direction, if it is safe to do so, or if a driver is unable to move over safely, proceed with caution and reduce the speed of their vehicle. Emergency vehicles include police, fire, medical, tow trucks and vehicles providing roadside assistance making use of hazard lights. In 2014, WSP troopers stopped over 4,000 violators of the Move Over Law.