Virginia State Police stress importance of Move over Law after three incidents in three days

Posted at 3:41 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 17:55:14-04

NORFOLK, Va. - "I just  sat there and prayed counting my blessings I made it through," said Trooper M.S. Walden with Virginia State Police.

10 years ago Walden was sitting in his patrol car during a traffic stop when he was slammed into.

"A vehicle struck me, we estimated the speed about 80 MPH, she hit me so hard she pushed me 30 some feet up under the vehicle that I stopped," he said.

Walden obviously knows first hand the importance of the Move Over Law.

The law is simple, if you see an emergency vehicle, VDOT worker, or tow truck stopped on the side of the road, move over, if you can't then simply slow down.

"Don't focus on me, focus on the road and cruise on by and move over, then pick back up a safe speed," said Walden.

According to VDOT and Virginia State Police there have been three accidents in just 72 hours in Hampton Roads, where drivers have ignored the law.

On Friday afternoon a VDOT safety service patrolman was hit by a car on I-264. Investigators say the worker was checking an abandoned car when he was hit.

Thursday night on I-664, a VDOT worker was assisting a driver who pulled over on the side of the road, when another driver hit the worker's truck which then pushed the truck into the worker.

Then on Wednesday night, a Virginia State Trooper was hit in Norfolk during a traffic stop on I-264. News 3 got a look at that patrol car today, which is a parked billboard for the Move Over Law, as it sits crushed, crunched and scratched.

"Sit back for a quick second and think, my little body against that big vehicle, or just imagine yourself out there, people never think it could happen to them," said Walden.

Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed, struck by oncoming vehicles across America's highways.

The current fine for a move over law is $250 dollars for the first violation.