Columbia traffic officers to target drivers who fail to yield

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | 6:13 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA  — Traffic officers from the Columbia Police Department will be targeting drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles during a special enforcement detail Thursday.

The department will be looking for drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles along Interstate 70 and U.S. 63 during the day. Any driver who fails to yield will be ticketed, department spokeswoman Jessie Haden said.

Other departments may be assisting with the detail, she said.

The traffic detail is part of a nationwide Move Over, America campaign to educate commuters about the "move over" statutes. According to the campaign's Web site, more than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been struck and killed by passing vehicles since 1999.

"That is 150 too many,"  Haden said. "We don't want it to be one of ours."

Missouri's law requires motorists to yield to an emergency vehicle approaching with its lights and sirens on, move to the far right of the road and come to a stop. Drivers must also give the right-of-way to any stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on and change lanes if possible so they are not traveling directly next to the emergency vehicle.

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