Of­fi­cers en­forc­ing “move over” law

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

In Jan­uary, a Green­wood Vil­lage po­lice of­fi­cer was sit­ting in­side his ve­hi­cle on the shoul­der of In­ter­state 25 when out of nowhere a motorist slammed into the rear of his pa­trol car, leaving it a pile of twisted metal.

The Colorado State Pa­trol re­leased a video in March show­ing a trooper and sev­eral oth­ers nearly be­ing hit by a pass­ing sport util­ity ve­hi­cle that failed to obey the state’s “move over” law.

Then on Nov. 25, Trooper Cody Don­ahue, who was in­ves­ti­gat­ing a crash, was struck and killed by a trac­tor-trailer whose driver author­i­ties say had space to change lanes and give the of­fi­cer room. In­stead, the truck clipped Don­ahue — a fa­ther of two young girls — and killed him.

“If you see emer­gency per­son­nel on the side of the road, please slow down and move over,” Don­ahue’s fam­ily said in a state­ment re­leased Thurs­day. “Two lit­tle girls are go­ing to grow up without their Daddy and there’s just no good rea­son.”

In the wake of Don­ahue’s death, law en­force­ment agen­cies through­out Colorado have been re-em­pha­siz­ing the state’s law man­dat­ing mo­torists give room to of­fi­cers, tow truck driv­ers and high­way work­ers. The State Pa­trol has is­sued more than 1,000 such tick­ets so far this year for dis­obey­ing the statute, a vi­o­la­tion that car­ries with it a four-point penalty and a fine that dif­fers de­pend­ing on ju­ris­dic­tion.

On Thurs­day, Green­wood Vil­lage po­lice led a tar­geted, 12-hour en­force­ment ef­fort with Den­ver po­lice and the sher­iff’s of­fices in Dou­glas and Ara­pa­hoe coun­ties that re­sulted in 266 stops. More than 175 ci­ta­tions for fail­ure to fol­low the move over law were is­sued, and 79 writ­ten warnings were handed out.

“Our of­fi­cers along the I-25 cor­ri­dor are only see­ing about 30 to 40 per­cent of the cars move over,” said Cmdr. Eric Sch­mitt, who over­sees the Green­wood Vil­lage Po­lice Depart­ment’s traf­fic unit. “The rest are zip­ping right by us.”

The Colorado State Pa­trol has dras­ti­cally in­creased the num­ber of tick­ets it has writ­ten to mo­torists who fail to move over since 2012, when it wrote 548 ci­ta­tions for the vi­o­la­tion. In 2014, the force wrote 1,470 ci­ta­tions for the charge and an­other 919 last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.