Troopers Target Those Who Don't Move Over

Saturday, October 27th 2007, 9:58 pm
By: News On 6

Consider yourself warned. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol cracks down on drivers who fail to switch lanes when an emergency vehicle is parked on the shoulder. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports troopers are dealing with all sorts of dangerous situations, but some say the routine traffic stops are often what are most dangerous and keep troopers up at night.

For example, during a simple traffic stop in Ohio, a passing vehicle slammed into a parked car. The patrolman escaped injury, but Oklahoma troopers say incidents like that happen all too often.

"The bad guys are few and far between. The unattentive, inattentive motorists, there's too many of them out there right now,” said OHP trooper Vern Wilson, Jr.

On Saturday, Trooper Vern Wilson and the rest of the highway patrol were out enforcing Oklahoma's Emergency Vehicle Law. It states that drivers must switch lanes when any emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road. The law has been in effect for four years, but Wilson says plenty of people ignore it, and that can make traffic stops nerve-wracking.

"I'm just like anybody else, I've got a wife and children, and I want to get home to them every night. The last thing in the world I want is to end up under somebody's vehicle,” said trooper Vern Wilson, Jr.

On Saturday afternoon, most drivers did make an effort to move over during one stop, but some stayed in the right-hand lane. That decision cost those who were pulled over a $205 ticket.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says that many of the drivers they stop plead ignorance, claiming they are not familiar with the Emergency Vehicle Law. Others admit they were on their phone and distracted.

The troopers do say they are willing to cut drivers some slack if there's traffic, and it's too dangerous to switch lanes.

Watch the video: Troopers Target Those Who Don't Move Over