Va. Police Warn Drivers to "Move Over" - NBC4 Washington

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Va. Police Warn Drivers to "Move Over"

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    Northern Virginia bureau reporter David Culver talks with 2 Virginia State troopers who were struck while alongside the road. (Published Wednesday, March 4, 2015)

    Virginia State Police are warning drivers to move over or slow down when passing a stopped police car on the interstate, especially with snowy weather making roads slippery.

    It's part of the "move over" law, which calls for cars to change lanes if possible, or slow down, if an emergency vehicle is flashing lights on the side of the road.

    "When you're driving 70 miles an hour in a car, it doesn't feel like you're going that fast, but when you're standing outside and someone's passing you at 70 miles per hour you can feel it," said Trooper Michael McSellers.

    McSellers knows firsthand how dangerous those speeds can be to people on the shoulder. He said a pickup truck veered off the highway and hit his police cruiser.

    "I remember hearing a loud explosion, and I remember getting pushed," McSellers said. That accident happened on Feb. 17, the ground wet with snow.

    Two weeks later, McSellers said his lower back still gets sore. "It stiffens up on me a little now and then, but I'm getting better."

    Trooper Michael Campbell's police cruiser was wrecked last week; he said the impact knocked him into the interstate.

    "I'm feeling better than I have any right to be feeling right now," Campbell said.

    Virginia State Police said drivers suspected of violating the move over law were responsible for two wrecks with police cruisers in one week.

    Police are also warning drivers to stay off the roads when snow creates hazardous driving conditions.

    "If the weather's bad, and you don't need to be out, then don't be out," McSellers said.