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Ask a trooper: Drivers required to move over for parked emergency vehicles

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pursuits Duluth, 55802
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

Q: I have noticed in the newspaper recently there have been citations for passing a parked emergency vehicle. Of course we don't stop if there's an ambulance tending to someone or if a trooper has someone pulled over. No one seems to know the answer to this. Would you please explain?

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A: I don't know what you are seeing in the papers and how it is being translated, but if you are referring to the Ted Foss Move Over Law, it concerns multiple-lane highways. There is another law that requires you to slow down, but the Move Over Law requires you to move over a lane away from an emergency vehicle (or road maintenance or road construction) that is parked on the side of the road or partially in a lane with their emergency lights on.

Emergency vehicles include law enforcement, firetruck/vehicles, ambulances and tow trucks, for this law only. You are only required to stop if directed to do so. On two-lane highways, you need to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, and go around when you can. In all cases and for all hazards, slow down and be prepared to stop.

Q: This may be a strange question to ask, but my wife takes a bundle of medication and I think she should not be driving. They are not classified as hard-core drugs, but they are muscle relaxants and others. I believe they impair her driving. I would think there are many more people like her driving on the road. Is this safe?

A: I see your concern. You should consult the doctor or pharmacist about these medications. Doctors are required to notify the state in certain circumstances affecting the eligibility of drivers.

Many people are on medications that allow no driving, but some people drive anyway. We all need to be responsible for our own actions behind the wheel and not drive when impaired in any way, including from medications.

Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.

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