State Police remind drivers about ‘Move Over’ law after 2 troopers hit Monday

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MIDDLETOWN--After two incidents that could have ended much worse than they did, State Police are issuing a reminder to citizens and other drivers about the "Move Over" law.

Enacted in 2009, the state's Move Over law instructs drivers to immediately slow down when they see flashing lights of any kind--police, construction workers, tow truck drivers, etc.--and to move over a lane if it is safe to do so.

"Help us. We're here to help you, we're at accident scenes, your vehicle has broken down. Yes we're out there issuing tickets also, but that's where we work, we work in that shoulder and we do need you to move over," said State Police Trooper Kelly Grant, who is the public information officer for the department.

A stark reminder came in the form of two accidents Monday morning.

First, at around 12:30 a.m., a state trooper responding to an accident was rear-ended on I-91 in the Middletown area, near exit 20. The trooper, who was sitting in his cruiser at the time finishing up an accident report, was taken to the hospital for treatment and then released, and is expected to be okay. The driver of the other car, Joshua Rita, 25, of Meriden, also went to the hospital but is expected to recover.

Then later in the morning another State Police cruiser was side-swiped in Farmington, near Tunxis Community College. That officer was not injured, and neither was the driver of the car that hit his cruiser.

State Police say to remember you're not only protecting officers when you follow the rules of the Move Over law; you're also ensuring the safety of the driver who is pulled over or stopped for some reason.