LANSING, Mich,.-During Labor Day weekend two years ago, Michigan State Police Trooper Drew Spencer of the Lansing post nearly lost his life.
Spencer was hit by a driver during a routine traffic stop, and now the agency uses his nearly tragic story to remind motorists of the state’s move over law.
Just this week, on the heels of one of the busiest weekends on the road, they launched the first ever campaign for it,called ‘Save A Life-Give A Lane’.
Trooper Spencer doesn’t remember the day at all, and said he rarely thinks about it. He suffered critical injuries including brain trauma, and had to spend weeks in the hospital followed by intense therapy before he finally made it back to work. “Thankfully I was able to make it out alive but there are plenty of other incidents where people don’t make it out alive,” he said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 20,000 first responders are either injured or killed every year while responding to traffic incidents, including three of the most recent five Michigan State Police trooper deaths while in the line of duty.
One of those troopers was Rick Johnson from the Paw Paw Post, who was killed in 2000 after a driver was distracted while eating.
“It doesn’t take that long to get over an extra lane to make sure you get where you’re going but that they (first responders) get home at night as well,” said Spencer. If you can’t get over, police say slow down below the speed limit and pass with caution.
Violating the law is a misdemeanor but if an officer of emergency worker is killed, drivers cold face up to 15 years in prison.