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Posted September 16, 2008 | comments Leave a comment

Move over!

CHESAPEAKE -- Another Virginia State Police trooper was struck by a car while working on the side of an interstate over the weekend.

On Sunday, Trooper M.S. Walden became the third trooper in three months to be struck on the side of an interstate in the Hampton Roads region. He had stopped a motorist on the eastbound shoulder of Interstate 264 near Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach when another vehicle ran off the road and hit his car. Walden and the driver, who admitted she had been talking on a cell phone, suffered minor injuries.

On Tuesday, interstate, local and state public safety agencies gathered in Chesapeake for a press conference to discuss the state's "Move Over" law. The law requires motorists to move over or slow down when passing emergency vehicles and personnel on the side of the road. The law carries a penalty of up to $2,500 fine and/or 12 months in jail.

"For good reason, many troopers fear being hit by a vehicle more than being hit by a bullet," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent, at Tuesday's press conference. "How many more 'near misses' of our public safety personnel is it going to take before the motoring public begins paying attention to their driving habits and complying with Virginia's Move Over law?"

On July 26, Senior Trooper Jesse Dennis and Senior Trooper Warren Desper were struck by motorists in separate incidents on Interstate 64 in Newport News. Both suffered non-life threatening injuries. So far this year, eight troopers have been struck while working.

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