Move Over or Get Fined

JANUARY 28, 2004 -- Posted at 11:45pm

JONESBORO, AR - Act 1102 was pushed through the Arkansas General Assembly last spring. That statute became a law on April 4th of last year. Arkansas State Police Captain Mike Coy said it was needed. Now drivers just need to abide by it.

"It's hard to watch the things going on with the traffic stop, and then be aware of the traffic coming along too, especially if it's real close to you," explained Coy.

The law requires drivers to move to the furthest lane possible when an officer is stopped on the shoulder of a multi-lane highway.

Coy said, "Of course, sometimes you get in a situation where they can't, but you should."

Troopers in Troop C in Jonesboro have had lots of close calls. Vehicle drivers either weren't paying attention, the wheels of a large truck accidently tossed objects up into the air or the force of the wind that's created by vehicles passing caused an officer to loose his or her balance.

"We had one trooper that was run over by a car a few years ago while working a traffic accident," added Coy. "In fact, the car ran completely over him."

Sergeant Benny Cox from did not die. However, two working out of Troop D in Forrest City did.

If you are found guilty of violating the new law aimed at protecting officers like them, you'll be charged with a misdemeanor and you could be fined $35 to $500 and/or serve up to 90 days in jail. A judge could also make you serve up to seven days of community service, and suspend your driver's license for 90 days to six months.

"I'm sure a lot of people aren't aware of this," admitted Captain Coy.

The driver's we spoke with didn' knoww the law had been passed in Arkansas. Texas just passed it in September. Iowa, Wyoming and South Dakota also have them. Indiana's law was prompted by a State Trooper's death.