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It’s simple – move over

On Sunday, Sept. 14 of this year, Virginia State Police Trooper M.S. Walden became the third trooper in three months to be struck on the side of an interstate in the Hampton Roads region. All three of these near fatal crashes could have been avoided had the drivers heeded the commonwealth’s “Move Over, Slow Down” law.

The law states that drivers are required to change to another travel lane or to slow down and cautiously pass all emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law carries a penalty of up to $2,500 fine and/or 12 months in jail for non-compliance.

This year a total of eight Virginia State Police troopers have been struck while working on the side of a Virginia interstate. It’s ridiculous that some Virginia drivers don’t seem to be able to follow a simple law, one rooted in common sense and formed for the safety of those who daily put their lives on the line. Motorists have to realize that careless driving results in tragedies. Fortunately, the three local troopers survived the incidents, but it could have much worse.

For more information on the law and to view “Move Over” public service announcements, visit the state police Web site at www.vsp.virginia.gov.