Troopers say 'Move Over Law' violated too often

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Checking to make sure you're following laws, the Nevada Highway Patrol spent a few hours in the North Valleys area Thursday looking for drivers violating the "Move Over Law", which took effect in 2003.

Trooper Matt McLaughlin took KOLO 8 News Now’s Gianna Giorgi on a ride-along and explains what the law means.

"In essence the law states that when you see a stopped emergency vehicle on the side of the highway with its lights on, you are required by law to move over at least one lane to the left and reduce your speed," says McLaughlin.

Because the safety of first responders is at stake when drivers violate this law, troopers working Thursday's focus event didn't let anyone breaking this law pass by.

While Giorgi was with McLaughlin, he pulled over two drivers he says weren't following the law.

McLaughlin says he sees people trying to make an effort by just reducing their speeds, but says that's not enough.

"We hear all the excuses, that I didn't know about the law, I didn't think it applied to me, I didn't think I could move over. You have to make every effort to move over."

NHP reports this year alone, nearly ten troopers have had their vehicles struck because of drivers failing to move over; none of the troopers sustained severe injuries.

"The job is inherently dangerous. There's enough danger for us just as law enforcement officers in this day and age. The last we want to worry about is being struck by a motor vehicle."

Some drivers pulled over received citations, but McLaughlin says this initiative was more about educating drivers than finding them.

"At the end of the day, troopers, all first responders, we just want to go home to our families. We want to get home safe. Help us achieve that goal by always giving us space."