“This is definitely not how I wanted to end my shift this morning,” says Benton County Deputy Justin Coshow, who escaped uninjured when another driver hit his parked patrol car along Highway 30 early Friday morning.
“There are laws for a reason,” says the deputy. “Slow down and move over so this type of thing is avoided at all costs. I’m very thankful I was able to come home without injuries.”
When he saw the vehicle approaching him, Coshow had to take quick evasive action.
The Iowa Legislature, during this year’s session, amended its “Move Over” law to include any vehicles with flashing lights.
According to the Iowa DOT, the new law requires drivers to move over, if safely possible, or slow down, for any vehicles displaying flashing or hazard lights, including private vehicles which may be stopped due to vehicle trouble or emergencies.
Steve Gent, from our the DOT Office of Traffic and Safety, said, “There are two really important things for people to understand about this law. If you have an emergency situation and have to pull over on the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights. That allows oncoming traffic to better see you. If you are traveling and see a vehicle, any vehicle, with lights flashing, you need to either move over if you can or at least slow down to safely pass. While the law only requires you to move over or slow down for vehicles with flashing lights, for the safety of everyone involved it’s a good practice to do whenever you see any vehicle along the side of the road.”
This is at least the second time in two years that a local law enforcement officer has survived such and incident. On a snowy day in December 2016, Iowa State Trooper Brad Bartz’s vehicle was hit along the side of I-380 after he had stopped to help a motorist stranded in the median. Another driver lost control and collided with his vehicle while he was in the driver’s seat. It was the fourth time that had happened to Bartz.