Two crashes into squad car, snow plow prompts Sheriff’s Office to issue plea to move over

February 13, 2019

Drivers on the highway during snowstorms need to slow down and move over when going past emergency vehicles or plows, or risk crashing, officials said.

The plea was issued by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday after a squad car was struck from behind and a snowplow’s blade was hit by a SUV Tuesday evening, both happening around 7 p.m. on Highway 151 southwest of Madison.

“Just before 7 p.m., a deputy was providing coverage for a vehicle that slid into the ditch on Highway 151 in the town of Verona,” said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer.

The squad car, parked on the shoulder, was rear-ended by another vehicle.

“The deputy did not appear to be injured but was evaluated at a local hospital as a precaution,” Schaffer said. “The driver of the at-fault vehicle was cited.”

In the second incident a few minutes later, a Dane County plow truck driver reported a blue Jeep crashed into the wing of the plow on Highway 151 at Highway F in the village of Blue Mounds, with the Jeep driver not stopping to see what happened.

Nobody was injured.

Wisconsin has a Move Over law, which requires drivers to move over to give a safety zone to law enforcement, emergency and maintenance vehicles.

“Please help ensure safety for our emergency responders, especially considering the winter road conditions we all are dealing with,” Schaffer said.

“Failure of motorists to move over is one of the reasons for many law enforcement officers being killed in motor vehicle crashes every year,” Schaffer said.

Failure to move over can be expensive. The state law has penalties of three demerit points on your license plus a $249 fine, suspension of your driver’s license if you get into a crash, and up to seven years in prison if someone is hurt or killed in the crash.

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