OHP cracking down on drivers not yielding to stationary emergency vehicles

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BRYAN COUNTY,OK -- OHP troopers are cracking down on drivers failing to yield to stationary emergency vehicles.

Close encounters with fast moving vehicles.

OHP trooper B.J. Keeling says, that's a safety risk law enforcement face every day.

Many drivers are not moving over and they're breaking the law.

"I don't know if it's from people not paying attention, or people not familiar with the law," said Keeling.

Oklahoma law, specifically Title 47, section 11, requires drivers to slow down and if possible, move into a lane that's not next to the stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on.

"We've been standing here for approximately 5 minutes and we've had three go by that haven't moved over for the vehicle and the emergency lights sitting behind us," said Keeling.

Keeling patrols Bryan County roads every day.

Wednesday, we rode along as he pulled over over 10 drivers, gave 6 tickets, 8 warnings and made one DUI arrest.

In all of these separate traffic stops, one thing was consistent; hardly anyone switched lanes, or slowed down for his patrol car.

"All we ask is that people don't fly by us at 65 and 75 miles an hour," said OHP trooper Scott Hampton.

OHP Lt. Scott Hampton says not moving over is not only dangerous for law enforcement; it can have expensive consequences for drivers.

"We generally have more injuries and deaths and retirements in our line of work due to people being hit," said Hampton.

Hampton says last year, OHP trooper David McCutcheon had to retire after a driver hit his car while he was stopped.

The driver received a ticket for reckless driving. McCutcheon received 17 stitches in his head.

For now, Keeling says he will try and stop violators whenever he can, so law enforcement and the public can stay safe on the roads.

"If you see a vehicle on the side of the road with it's lights activated, and there's people around it; move over, slow down," said Keeling.