Sheriff: Move over, slow down for officers along the road

A Wabash Valley sheriff has a strong message for drivers. He says, already this year, three officers have been killed in the line of duty because other drivers were not paying attention.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 10:32 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2019 10:32 PM

MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - A Wabash Valley sheriff has a strong message for drivers. He says, already this year, three officers have been killed in the line of duty because other drivers were not paying attention.

Clark County Sheriff Bill Brown says drivers need to move over and slow down when they see those flashing lights along the side of the road. Illinois is one of many states with a Move Over law. It requires drivers to move into another lane, if they can, or at least slowdown.

News 10’s Heather Good rode along with Sheriff Brown to see if drivers would move over during a stop on Interstate 70.

A deputy pulled over a car for a headlight out.

"Our officer has done a passenger side approach,” said Sheriff Brown, “he is not on the driver's side of the car right now. That's just another way, as law enforcement, we have tried to make ourselves safer."

Sheriff Brown said he was pleased to see each car and semi pass by in the far lane.

"Right now what I'm seeing is fantastic. If this happened all the time, this would be a good thing. Unfortunately, it's not what happens all the time and that's why we're losing officers across this country."

Earlier this month an Illinois State Police trooper was killed in the line of duty when a car hit him as he was working another crash.

Just last weekend a semi collided with an Indiana State Police trooper's car with the trooper inside. Luckily, he walked away with only minor cuts and bruises.

Illinois State Police Trooper Tammy Welborn says, "A lot of times people say oh I just didn't see you there and again, they're getting into that autopilot mode which is a little bit scary when someone can go right next to you and not see you at all at 70 miles per hour."

Sheriff Brown said this particular stop was a good one. Each driver followed the law and it means his deputy is that much closer to making it home alive.

"If it was like this all the time we would not have officers getting killed in roadside accidents."

Officers say to avoid distractions while driving and that includes cell phones.

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