Ask a Chief: What is the “Move Over” Law?

A: Minnesota’s “Ted Foss Move Over” law is over 10 years old. Foss was a state trooper killed by a passing vehicle as he was conducting a traffic stop on the shoulder of I-90 in Winona in 2000. The law requires motorists to move over a lane when approaching emergency vehicles stopped on the roadside or if unable to safely move over, to at least reduce speed. The Move Over Law was expanded to include nearly any government or emergency vehicle stopped along a roadway with its flashing lights activated. This includes law enforcement, emergency, maintenance and construction vehicles.

•When traveling on a road with two or more lanes, you must keep over one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, including ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance and construction vehicles.

•Reduce speed if you are unable to safely move over a lane.

•Failing to take these actions endangers personnel who provide critical and life-saving services, and drivers may be cited.

It is also a good practice to safely move over or reduce speed anytime you approach a vehicle stopped on the side of the road. — Chief Brad Rolfe, Elk River Police Deptartment