By now you might have seen the dash cam video of a recent traffic stop in Sheboygan County that nearly turned tragic. The video that has gone “viral” shows a semi tractor-trailer driver speeding passed Wisconsin state trooper Jim Reese on the shoulder of 1-43, striking the squad car along the way. “It’s just the grace of God that he didn’t get struck.”
State Patrol Captain Nick Scorcio says this incident underscores the importance of obeying the state’s 12-year-old “Move Over” law, which provides a “safety zone” for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.
Anecdotally, Scorcio believes the law is helping. “Yes, I see a lot of people moving over that previously would not have,” he says, “I personally notice that a lot more folks move over. I also notice that a lot of people don’t, so.”
Scorcio says ignoring the law could be because of a combination of ignorance, a blatant disregard for the law, or inattentive drivers. The semi driver in the Sheboygan County incident was cited for inattentive driving and failure to move over.
Scorcio emphasizes that the highway is the workplace for many people — police, fire fighters, EMS, tow truck operators, highway maintenance workers. He wants motorists to give ’em a brake.
It’s fortunate that nobody was injured in this month’s crash, though the police cruiser is totaled. As for the video, Scorcio says it has received more hits than any video the DOT has put out on YouTube.
Scorcio says this incident — and the dash cam video — can be used to educate motorists. Had the trooper not been as attentive as he was, he could easily have been struck and killed that day.