Law enforcement officials gathered in the Governor’s office yesterday afternoon to hail a new state law which lets officers ticket drivers who don’t slow down and move over a lane when emergency vehicles are along the roadside. Iowa Highway Patrol Chief Robert Garrison says there are officers killed in every state, every year, because drivers don’t think about being courteous. He says this law will force drivers to be courteous. Patrolman Jeff Benson, who’s based in Muscatine, was severely injured January 28th, 2001, in an accident along I-80 in Cedar County. Benson had gotten out of his squad car to help a family of three whose vehicle slid in the ditch.A semi that didn’t pull over started sliding in the wintry conditions. Benson pushed the father out of the way just before the trailer slammed into his patrol car and hit the trooper, throwing him 40 feet and pinning him under the car. The mother and daughter were hit by Benson’s patrol car, too, and were killed instantly. Benson had a head injury, his hips were dislocated and torn, and his face and eyes were bruised and cut. He says he’s been diagnosed with “post traumatic stress disorder” too.Benson has been back on the job, although he’s on leave right now after some surgery to repair a tendon in his wrist that was damaged in the accident. Benson says it’s tough for him to work the Interstate beat again, and Benson hopes the new law helps.Benson says troopers aren’t asking for much, just for drivers to slow down, move over a lane and be courteous when there’s a car pulled over on the shoulder.
You are here: / / New law requires you to watch out for stopped emergency vehicles