Cop reminds drivers: move over
Just seconds after Lake Oswego Police Traffic Officer Jeff Oliver got back into his vehicle following a traffic stop on Country Club Road the evening of Feb. 4, a driver sideswiped him.
While Oliver suffered no injuries and the driver pulled over and cooperated with West Linn police who arrived on scene, he said this incident is a good reminder to folks that it's important to follow the Move Over Law.
Oregon's Move Over Law requires that drivers either move over to a non-adjacent lane or slow down at least 5 mph below the speed limit when approaching any vehicle stopped for emergency.
When Oliver made the stop on Country Club Road he was parked at an angle across the bike lane, partially in the right eastbound lane, about 1,200 feet west of the large intersection on Iron Mountain Boulevard.
The driver was coming down the eastbound lane and didn't move over.
Oliver said he had gotten into the driver seat one-and-a-half seconds before his car was hit.
"It would have hit me right where I was standing if I hadn't gotten in the car already," Oliver said.
Officers park their car at an angle behind the car they stop for officer safety purposes.
"It gives us a 'safe' corridor between the police car and the violator vehicle to work in," Oliver said.
Prior to 2017, Oliver said the Move Over Law required drivers to move over only for emergency roadside vehicles if they were on a road with two or more lanes going the same direction. If they couldn't, then they had to slow down, "which was great because it required you to move over," said Oliver, adding that now the law doesn't require a driver to move over, it gives the driver the option to slow down. It also involves any vehicle pulled over for an em-
ergency, not just emergency vehicles.
"I think they should have left it the way it was, where you had to move over," Oliver said.
In the case of Oliver's incident, the driver had room to move over and it appeared the driver didn't slow down either.
Oliver said though this was the first time he's been sideswiped while parked on the side of the road, he's had to jump on the hood of his car a couple times to keep from getting hit.
Ultimately, Oliver said the Move Over Law is in place for safety and
if people can, they should move over.
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, there is a $265 fine for this violation and it is almost doubled if the location is within a safety corridor, school zone or work zone.
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