JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — During a four-hour law enforcement campaign enforcing Iowa’s move over, slow down law 66 drivers have issued citations and 16 were issued warnings.
The project happened along Highway 218 and Interstate 80 from about 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and included 6 law enforcement agencies.
In total, 66 drivers received citations, 16 received warnings, three drivers were driving while suspended, two received possession of drug charges, and two commercial vehicles were inspected.
The Iowa State Patrol issues 308 tickets last year for failing to move over or slow down.
A KWWL News 7 crew got to ride along with Iowa State Patrol, Trooper Bob Conrad.
Trooper Conrad was pleased to see that many of the drivers were obeying the law.
“Now that’s what you should be doing right there get on the brakes, slowing down a little bit. That blue truck did exactly what we want them to do,” said Trooper Conrad.
According to the law, vehicles need to slow down and get over, if possible, for any vehicle with flashing lights or hazards, not just emergency vehicles.
The six law enforcement agencies broke up into groups. Each group had a tow truck sitting along the shoulder on Highway 218 or Interstate 80 in various areas from Tiffin to Iowa City.
For the most part, people got the idea said Trooper Conrad, “We’re not issuing a bunch of tickets most of the people are getting over pretty well. I like seeing that unfortunately, I’ve got to say it’s not very representative of what we see every day.”
However, some failed to either slow down or move over. In one case the driver of a black Dodge Charger did neither.
“Slow down means below the speed limit. You were at 74 so you were actually fou mph over and you had time to move over so that’s why I’m stopping you today,” said Conrad during the traffic stop.
During the campaign 66 drivers got citations and every driver got to practice complying with this life-saving law.
Whether it’s pulling someone over or assisting a stranded motorist it’s a dangerous job.
In 2019 28 Tow or maintenance vehicles have already been hit according to an HDR employee who works with the Iowa DOT.
“This is probably the number one thing that I worry about dying from is getting hit along the side of the road while doing my job. I try and part that wisdom to everyone I deal with along the side of the road, look this is the most dangerous place to be,” said Trooper Conrad.
Back in January, a patrol car was hit, nearly striking the state trooper along Interstate 80.
The driver of the black Dodge said they didn’t see the patrol car or the car with hazards that was behind the patrol car. Trooper Conrad said this can happen when drivers aren’t paying attention. State Patrol hopes the $195 ticket encourages drivers to do so.
To learn more about the law itself, the Iowa DOT has the details.