State police here in Pennsylvania say anytime a trooper has a traffic stop on the highways, they are always in a dangerous situation.
As a safety precaution, state law in both New York and Pennsylvania maintains that drivers must “move over” to the opposite lane if there is any type of emergency vehicle in the shoulder.
42-year old Christopher Skinner, a New York State Trooper, was killed on Interstate 81 when he was struck during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon.
Investigators say Skinner was out of his vehicle when 60-year old Almond Upton of Florida deliberately crashed into him with his pick-up truck.
Troopers here in Pennsylvania say regardless of the circumstances, doing traffic stops on the highways are always dangerous.
“You got to remember, we`re on the side of the road, people are coming by very high speeds, we`ve had troopers hit with car mirrors, just standing on the side of the road,” said Corporal Edmond Fret.
That`s why both Pennsylvania and other states have a “move over” law which maintains that drivers must, if possible, move over to the next lane when an emergency vehicle is parked on the shoulder.
“It`s always better to move over, give us some room to operate, give the fire fighters, or PennDOT workers, or ambulance people room to operate, slow down when you see us if you can`t move over into the other lane,” said Cpl. Fret.
At a rest stop just off Interstate 81 in Great Bend, many say it`s a good law.
“I’m also a fireman too so I can understand with the traffic involved and a lot of time people do not pay attention to what`s going on, so if they`re made to pull over,” said Ron Dawson of Forest Lake Township.
“It`s a good thing because sometimes you don`t know what`s going on up ahead and all of sudden everybody`s pulling over and you follow right along and say that`s why,” said Carol Jackson of Susquehanna.
‘You always pull over, I always pull over to the left, somebody`s parked on the right hand side, you see them with their lights on, so you got time, pull over,” said Terry Wescott of Whitney Point, NY.
State police say fines for violating the move over law in Pennsylvania are set by magistrates on a case-by-case basis but can be as high as $250.