State Trooper Ted Foss was initiating a routine traffic stop on Interstate 90 near Lewiston, Minn., on Aug. 31, 2000 when he and the minivan he had stopped for speeding were struck by a passing semitrailer truck. Foss died at the scene.
The incident led to the Ted Foss Move Over law, which requires motorists on a road with two or more lanes going the same direction to move over one full lane from stopped emergency vehicles that have their flashing lights activated. That includes ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance, construction vehicles and tow trucks. If it is not safe to move over, the driver should slow down, the State Patrol said.
On the 16th anniversary of Foss' death, the State Patrol and police across the state will be out to inform motorists about the law, and doing enforcement, too.
"This law is about keeping public safety crews safe," said Plymouth Police Officer Scott Kirchner. "Motorists must move over when they see flashing lights on the shoulder – including those belonging to first responders and paramedics, tow vehicles, law enforcement, firefighters and construction crews."
No more troopers have been killed since the law was passed in 2001.
In 2014, 30 Minnesota State Patrol squads were hit while parked on roadsides and four troopers were injured. Police issued 816 citations and 2,476 warnings. So far this year, nine squads have been struck while stopped on the side of the road and two troopers hurt by drivers who did not move over, the State Patrol said.
Failure to obey can lead to a fine in excess of $100, according to the Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety's web page.