NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There was a close call Monday for a Middle Tennessee officer whose unoccupied patrol car was hit by another driver as it was parked on the side of Interstate 40.
It’s a startling reminder of a law many on the road may not know. It’s been ten years after the law was passed—and people still don’t follow it.
Traffic stops seem basic, but Wilson County Sgt. Matt Smith says videos like the one released by the Mt. Juliet Police Department are terrifying reminder.
“Its very nerve racking. Very,” he told News 2.
Tennessee became the 30th state in the country to pass the Move Over law in 2006.
But officers on the road say drivers aren’t obeying it and they worry the distractions only make the problem worse.
“They are having to do their job and having to watch everybody else and then all you hear is screeching tires,” Sgt. Smith said.
In the dash cam video, the driver is seen speeding past the Mt. Juliet police cruiser on the shoulder of I-40.
“It was too late. By the time he realized what he was coming up to, he tried to slow it down and locked them up and then over corrected,” Smith explained.
The sergeant says the law is simple: If you see lights, then move over.
He says the problem is people are looking at the phones and driving distracted rather than paying attention to the road ahead.
“It was amazing, just watching the cars zipping by and not even, its like they don’t pay any attention at all,” said Smith.
In a video captured by News 2’s camera on I-40, we caught six drivers who didn’t move over in the span of 60 seconds on Tuesday before rush hour.
Sgt. Smith says that is a small example of every day drivers.
“The moments we’ve been standing out here… There are people that have just blown right past us without showing any regards to attempt to get over,” he told News 2.
Officers hope videos where no one was hurt will show drivers why this law was put in place.
“Half the time they are not moving over, it becomes a huge safety concern for us, safety for the people we are pulling over,” Smith said.
The law says if you can not move over then you should slow down and proceed with caution. If someone is found violating the state law, the citation could cost up to $500 and jail time.