ALMOST HIT: Near Misses ‘Happen All The Time’

It was a close call for three police officers. And a wake-up call for motorists.

Police car dash-camera video shows a pick-up truck careening out of control near Iowa City Friday, missing three police officers by just inches. It’s all because police say the driver of a tractor trailer didn’t slow down near stopped emergency vehicles, as he is required to do by law, and slammed into the pick up.

And it happens more than you might think. We pulled over with a state trooper Tuesday afternoon. His emergency lights were on, and most cars did the right thing – they merged over and slowed down. But in less than two minutes, a car sped past us.

“It happens all the time,” says Trooper Tyson Sonnenfelt of the Iowa State Patrol. “As you said under two minutes and traffic stops gonna take probably around ten minutes, fifteen minutes depending on the stop. So in that amount of time you can only imagine how many people break that law.”

The law requires you to move over, freeing up the lane closest to a stopped emergency vehicle, if you can safely do that. If not, you must slow down to below the posted speed limit. Violating the law can lead to a $195 fine.

4 comments

  • Rebecca Hergert

    My husband & I don’t like going back home to the Amana’s/Cedar Rapids anymore!!
    There is nothing to draw us back there any way anymore!!
    My husband takes the back roads to the Amana’s. (Iowa Interstate)
    I-80-I-380 is too Congested-Especially on Collins Road in the city.
    That’s why passenger rail service needs to be in-place!!

  • Savannah

    i wanna know if they let the car they had pulled over off with a warning… Nothing like getting pulled over and almost dying!

  • Mike Davis

    As a retired truck driver, I have witnessed similar events. I would bet that the pickup suddenly merged into the left lane in front of the semi and the hit his brakes. Happens all the time. The safe following distance was robbed from the big truck and he had no choice. You can hear the screeching tires as tires try to grip. The truck that pulled over was a tanker which in itself is a handful. Of corse there is no leeway in the law and the trucker will be charged with the accident and is most likely with most companies is fired. Just a different point of view.
    Don’t even get me started by the excessive use of blue flashing lites at night. It’s like looking at an arc welder. Most times it’s impossible to tell the location of the car or cars. They may be on the shoulder blocking one lane. The process is to immediately slow down but I have seen cops on foot suddenly appear from no where as the blue lights hurt drivers eyes preventing a good view. Slow down,leave plenty of space, we can all fit.

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