State trooper discusses reason behind "Move Over Law"

Published: Oct. 18, 2019 at 5:31 PM CDT
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Since 2017, more than 2,000 people have violated the Move Over Law in Wisconsin.

This weekend for national Move Over Day, Wisconsin roadside workers want to remind people why the law exists in the first place.

"It's a big concern because every day we're on the side of a busy highway, we're steps away from moving traffic,” said Sgt. Clint Beck.

Beck has been with Wisconsin State Patrol for more than a decade. The possibility of getting hit by a passing car while doing his day-to-day job has always been a concern.

“I’ve had numerous close calls,” said Beck. “What goes through my head is 'I need to move,' and I was lucky enough to move out of the way for one. The other one that driver was able to correct himself before hitting myself and the motorist I was helping.”

Close calls and actual collisions led to Wisconsin’s Move Over Law.

“That way, at the end of the day, we can go home,” said Beck.

“We” being any emergency responders, tow truckers, or other maintenance and roadside workers.

The law requires people to move out of the lane closes to cars that are stopped along the highway with their warning lights on, or if they are unable to move over, to slow down.

"The biggest thing is to eliminate distractions such as texting and driving, using a handheld - if at all possible use hands free, look down the road so if you do have to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles such as myself you're able to do that,” said Beck.

It’s a simple thing to do that will go a long way to keep roadside workers safe.

“We ask you please, please move over,” said Beck. “And if you can’t move over please slow down.”