WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper had a dime for every car that did not move to the next lane, they would be carrying quite a bit of cash.
“Just based on experience, when I am out here a lot of times just knowing that not everybody is going to move over, I do the majority of my enforcement traffic stops on the passenger side of the vehicle,” says Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden.
KSN News rode with Crittenden, and it only took minutes after parking for cars to start flying by.
A state law affords the opportunity for troopers and emergency vehicles to have the luxury of a free lane next to them when pulling over, but it does not always protect them.
“I would say at least 10 patrol cars are being struck a year just in the Kansas Highway Patrol,” Crittenden explains.
He is not surprised by that, and he was not surprised when another KHP trooper was hit this weekend.
“I think a lot of what we see is inattention because they get caught off guard. If you are looking at the end of your hood or just a couple of vehicles ahead, you do not realize that tow truck or that police car or ambulance. Now, you are panicked. You do not know what to do,” he says.
After dozens of people failed to move over this afternoon, the trooper is asking drivers to look up and move over.
“If you can not, we ask you to reduce your speed. That way if we are in the roadway you have the opportunity to realize that and slow down,” says Crittenden.
Troopers say the citation costs nearly $200.