When traveling on Colorado's roadways, most drivers know to give emergency personnel and workers extra room while on the roadside. The "move over" law which is designed to support this practice requires drivers to give roadside personnel a buffer zone of at least one lane between them and their vehicles. As an ABC affiliate in Denver reports, it was during a traffic stop that one trooper lost her life trying to provide a "move over" buffer to a colleague.
A state trooper was struck and killed on a Sunday night while attempting to give her fellow officer a one-lane buffer zone from passing traffic during a roadside stop. The victim, a female trooper, parked about 100 yards behind her colleague's vehicle when she heard a call come in regarding an approaching driver. The driver of that vehicle was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and was allegedly swerving all over the road.
The female trooper then attempted to flag down the approaching vehicle driven by the alleged drunk driver when she was hit and killed. Authorities believe that alcohol and inattentiveness are the main causes of the accident.
This incident and several recent ones like it have the "move over" law receiving much needed attention. Last August another officer was injured after being hit by a passing vehicle during an accident investigation.
So far in 2015, almost 700 tickets have been issued in Colorado for "move over" violations. These tickets can carry hefty fines and cost drivers up to four points of their license. While the general concern of the "move over" law is workers and emergency personnel, individuals stuck roadside for disabled vehicles or other related issues are also at risk. Moving over to allow a safe buffer between vehicles and individuals standing along the roadside is the law. People that suffer injury as a result of a driver's violation of that law may be able to seek compensation with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.
Source: Denver 7 ABC, "Fatal Trooper accident draws attention to Colorado's 'Move Over' law," Lance Hernandez, Nov. 18, 2015