Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: January 12, 2017
Contact: Trooper Heather Axtman
Phone: (425) 508-0793
Twitter: @wastatepatrol

Twenty-Nine WSP Patrol Vehicles Struck in 2016

Everett -- On New Year's Day, a Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper's patrol car was struck while investigating a collision on I-5 in Everett. The collision occurred at 2:29 a.m., on January 1, 2017, when a driver plowed into the back of a patrol vehicle while the trooper was investigating a collision on the right shoulder of northbound I-5 at milepost 195. The trooper was not injured; however, the driver that hit the trooper's car sustained minor injuries and was arrested for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

This crash highlights not only the dangers of drinking and driving but also the problems of drivers not following the Move Over law. This is the second WSP car that was hit by a suspected DUI driver in just over a one month period in the Everett area. Statewide between January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017, 29 WSP vehicles were struck while conducting traffic stops or providing motorist assistance. Eight out of the twenty-nine WSP vehicles were struck by drivers that were arrested for DUI.

According to the Move Over Law, RCW 46.61.212, drivers approaching an emergency zone are required to either move over to another lane in the same direction, if it is safe to do so, or if a driver is unable to move over safely, proceed with caution and reduce the speed of their vehicle. Emergency vehicles include police, fire, medical, tow trucks and vehicles providing roadside assistance making use of hazard lights. In 2014, WSP troopers stopped over 4,000 violators of the Move Over Law.

The WSP wants to encourage drivers to not get behind the wheel when they are impaired. Also, drivers should pay attention to the environment around them and safely move over when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.