Two close calls last weekend in the Richmond area illustrate why Virginia has a “move over” law for highway motorists. Officers on Interstate Defenseless to Swerving Motorists In separate incidents, two Virginia State Troopers escaped injury when their vehicles were sideswiped by motorists on Interstate 95. The officers had stopped on the shoulder to write traffic tickets when passing vehicles in the right lane swerved into their cruisers and smashed into the guardrail, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. There were no injuries. Chesterfield County north of Colonial Heights was the scene of the first incident, where Sgt. D.Y. Wyatt stopped the driver of a pickup and the driver of a car for speeding. Wyatt’s unmarked car was parked between the pickup and the car. As Wyatt was speaking with the car's driver, a 50-year-old woman driving in the right lane veered toward the shoulder, missed hitting the sergeant but sideswiped his cruiser. She then hit the pickup and guardrail. The woman was taken to Southside Regional Medical Center for treatment. The other incident happened at the Dunbarton Road intersection in Henrico County. Senior state trooper S.L. Townes Jr. stopped a motorist for speeding and was writing a ticket in his car. At that time, a 77-year-old man driving a camper towing a trailer sideswiped Townes' car and smashed into the guardrail. Failure to heed Virginia's "move over" law is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The “Move Over, America” television public service announcement can be viewed online at www.MoveOverAmerica.com, as can an interactive state-by-state map listing the laws in all 50 states.
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