State Troopers Getting Hit On Highways Despite Law


State police are pleading with drivers to keep officers and themselves safe.

Trooper Breeden Patrols I-81

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- State police are pleading with drivers to keep officers and themselves safe.

On March 17 alone, three Virginia State Troopers were hit near Richmond as well as one here in Rockingham County. Before that, in the last snow storm we had, there was one in Augusta County too.

We rode along with a trooper who has been hit before. He says the "move over" law is one rule drivers continue to break, and that's putting lives at risk.

"The first thing that got my attention is that I heard tires squealing,” shared Virginia State Trooper Brian Breeden. “I looked in my mirror and saw the car coming. At that point, there was nothing I could do. I didn't even really have time to brace myself,” he explained while sharing what it was like to be hit in his car by another driver.

When asked how he prepared as he realized what was about to happen he said, "I didn't have time to do anything but sit there and get hit.”

The move over law has been in place in Virginia since 2002; however, a decade later, 19 state troopers were struck between 2012 and 2013.

Though the snow and ice of this winter don't help the situation, Breeden says it's a problem here and around the country year round.

It's an issue drivers like Johnny Turner are trying to stop.

"Yeah, it's always a good idea to move over and slow down," shared Turner.

He's got a good reason to take extra care on the highway.

"I used to run rescue, so I know it's pretty important for the safety of everybody involved," Turner continued.

Despite the danger, Breeden says he's glad he is here to keep other people safe out on the highway.

He concluded, "I'm certain had my vehicle not been positioned where it was, somebody would have been seriously hurt,”

It's not just on the interstate as you can be pulled over for not moving over on secondary roads like Route 33 as well.

If you are caught breaking the move over law, the first conviction alone is punishable up to a $250 fine.


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