Ask a Trooper: Move over for stopped emergency vehicles

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: What is the Ted Foss Law in Minnesota?

Troy Christianson

Answer: The law got its name from a tragedy. Trooper Ted Foss was conducting a traffic stop Aug. 30, 2000, on the shoulder of Interstate 90 when he was hit and killed by a passing vehicle. He left behind his wife, Andrea, and two kids.

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Emergency responders working on the shoulder of the road have got your back. Do you have theirs? Minnesota’s Ted Foss Move Over Law was named in honor of the State Patrol trooper who was killed while on a traffic stop on the shoulder of I-90 near the Lewiston exit in 2000. 

The law states:

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

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

• Failing to take these actions endangers personnel who provide critical and life-saving services. 

Fines can exceed $130.

Moving over not only helps protect the lives of emergency workers, but also helps protect you.

Hitting a vehicle on the side of the road can result in injury or death for you or those in your vehicle.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and of course, drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.