Protect Our Public Servants: Wisconsin’s “Move Over” Laws

Wisconsin weather often renders roadways dangerous for both motorists and public safety officials. In the unfortunate case of a traffic accident, Wisconsin’s first responders appear on the scene,  evaluate the situation, perform the appropriate actions. Many times, the first responders are forced to put their own lives in danger, and they do so willingly.

On February 3, 2018, a vehicle slid off the road near Wisconsin Dells on Interstate 90/94.[1] Joe Sabol, a fire chief with the Delton Fire Department, arrived at the scene, parked his fire truck on the shoulder and activated the flashers. Unfortunately, while out on the roadway another motorist lost control of their vehicle and struck Mr. Sabol. He was transported to a local hospital and remains under medical care although he is expected to recover.

This tragic incident serves as a bold reminder to drive carefully in wintry weather and exhibit even more caution when navigating around construction and emergency sites. While the incident mentioned above was largely a result of poor driving conditions, public servants have experienced close calls in normal conditions while completing their duties on the roadway. For example, an Adams County sheriff was nearly clipped by a speeding truck back in December 2017.[2]

Wisconsin enforces Move Over or Slow Down laws which require motorists to give space to stopped law enforcement. If the road does not have more than one lane per direction, motorists are required to slow down.[3] These laws compel drivers to exercise caution when on the roadway especially when driving near emergency vehicles. Please drive safely and protect our police officers, emergency responders, and maintenance workers.

If you think you have been injured as the result of a traffic accident see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. at 877-375-7001 with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of someone else’s negligent actions. Our initial consultations are always free.

[1] http://www.wiscnews.com/wisconsindellsevents/news/local/article_481f6bff-cd18-52a1-a6d2-10a4ce4c4481.html

[2] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2017/12/29/deputys-close-call-caught-dash-cam-video-shows-pickup-truck-just-miss-sheriffs-deputy-talking-stoppe/990797001/

[3] http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/move-over/default.aspx