Emergency responders send drivers a life-saving message: please watch the road ahead, be prepared to Move Over/slow down

​Release date: October 17, 2019​​

Law enforcement officials, county maintenance workers, tow truck drivers and other emergency responders are joining together to send a life-saving reminder to motorists: please watch the road ahead carefully and be ready to move over - or at least slow down - when approaching stopped vehicles that have their warning lights flashing. 

With National Move Over Day set for Saturday (October 19), public safety officials gathered in DeForest today and used a State Patrol cruiser - damaged in a move-over-related crash earlier this year - to illustrate the hazards faced by emergency responders.

“Any time we stop along a highway to assist at a crash scene or speak with a motorist, one of our major concerns is the potential to be struck by a passing vehicle," said Trooper James Kicmol, a 29-year Wisconsin State Patrol veteran. “The Move Over Law helps protect motorists and emergency responders who often must work just feet away from traffic." 

On June 24, 2019, Trooper Kicmol was conducting a traffic stop along eastbound I-94 near Cottage Grove in Dane County when a semi-truck crashed into the rear of his patrol vehicle. Fortunately, there were no significant injuries, however, both vehicles sustained considerable damage and had to be towed from the scene.

Wisconsin's Move Over Law requires drivers to move out of the lane closest to vehicles that are stopped along a highway with their warning lights activated. If a driver is unable to move over, then they must slow down. The law applies to law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, tow trucks, utility or highway maintenance vehicles. Violations can result in a citation ($263) – or worse – a deadly crash. Since 2017, there have been 2,034 traffic convictions in Wisconsin for violating the Move Over Law.

“The safety of the travelling public will always be our primary focus, but at the same time, I'm very concerned about the safety of our law enforcement officers and all roadside workers," said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Tony Burrell. “Drivers are responsible to maintain safe control of their vehicle at all times and that includes watching their speed, being alert, and moving over for emergency responders as required by law." 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and its Division of State Patrol have compiled several dash/traffic camera videos and photos from crashes that highlight the dangers faced by emergency responders. Dates and locations of the crashes include:

  • June 24, 2019, I-94 in Dane County
  • December 2, 2018, I-94 in Kenosha County
  • September 4, 2018, I-41 in Outagamie County
  • July 19, 2013, I-43 in Sheboygan County​

To access the videos/photos:

  1. Go to this link: ftp://ftp.dot.wi.gov/dbm/bs/ccs/MoveOverSupportingMedia/
  2. Place the mouse cursor over the file/link
  3. Right click and select the option to “Save target as" (or similar verbiage)
  4. Select an appropriate location on your computer/network to download the video file

View this document online in the WisDOT Newsroom.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs

608/266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov