Sioux Falls, SD — It’s an emergency responder’s worst fear. Being struck by a car. Fortunately, no one was injured when two South Dakota Highway Patrol vehicles were struck Thursday morning by other vehicles. Troopers were responding to traffic issues during snowfall that created slippery roadway conditions on highways in the Sioux Falls area.
Trooper Dave Knutson was assisting on a call for service on Interstate 29 near mile marker 84 when another vehicle lost control and struck the back of his patrol vehicle. There were no injuries. Mile marker 84 is near the exits for I-90 in northern Sioux Falls.
Trooper Jason Husby was traveling northbound at reduced speed on I-29 near mile marker 23 when a southbound vehicle lost control, slid across the median and struck the left rear of the patrol vehicle. There were no injuries in this crash either. Mile marker 23 is about 9 miles west of Westfield, Iowa, or five miles northwest of Elk Point, South Dakota. Both crashes happened shortly after 10 AM.
Trooper Knutson was in a vehicle that was struck by another motorist two years ago. After that incident, Trooper Knutson was one of three Highway Patrol troopers who described being struck on the highway as part of a campaign to make the traveling public aware of the state’s Move Over Law.
Iowa also has a Move Over Law. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa law requires motorists to:
1. Change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency, tow or maintenance vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.(Iowa Code section 321.323A)
2. Yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights or giving an audible signal by moving over to the right, stopping and waiting until the vehicle has passed before proceeding. (Iowa Code section 321.324).
These laws are designed to protect motorists, persons being transported in emergency vehicles and personnel at high risk while performing their duties on Iowa’s roadways, according to the DOT. A good rule of the road is to change lanes or slow down anytime you are approaching a vehicle that is slow moving, stopped or stranded on the shoulder, if you can safely do so.
The scheduled fine for a conviction is $100 plus any surcharge and court costs.
If the violation causes damage to another person’s property, your license could be suspended for up to 90 days.
If it causes bodily injury of another person, it could be suspended up to 180 days, and the fine is increased to $500.
If it causes the death of another person, the license is suspended for a year, and the fine is increased to $1000.