State police: Stop running us down

Standing in front of the mangled metal that was a trooper’s cruiser before an alleged drunken driver slammed into it last weekend, state police Col. Marian McGovern said the department does not want to suffer like it has over recent weeks.

“We are looking at everything,” she said. “Highway safety is our No. 1 priority.”

In the wake of five troopers being struck — one of them killed — in as many weeks, McGovern said her department is examining new ways to keep troopers and other drivers safe.

A state police safety committee called an emergency meeting last week and is looking at the traffic stop procedures of other departments while state police officials review their own policy and training. Authorities are also examining if different cruiser lights can have an impact on reducing crashes.

Officials said the public needs to be more aware and obey the “Move Over” law that was enacted last year. More than 3,100 drivers were cited last year for failing to slow down and move over for stopped emergency vehicles.

McGovern said that troopers understand the risk, especially of traffic stops, when they sign on for the job. She added that the troopers involved in the crashes followed procedure and did nothing wrong.

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