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Utahns ignore the Move Over Law and troopers are getting hurt

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is glad to be at home resting this evening after his car was side swiped by a semi Sunday morning.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is glad to be at home resting this evening after his car was side swiped by a semi Sunday morning.

UHP Trooper James Wright could have been killed by semi driver Steven Bell.

According to Utah Highway Patrol, Wright was stopped in the right emergency lane in the southbound lane of I-15 near Lehi at about 6:20 a.m. Sunday. Wright had just cleared a traffic stop and was finishing his notes when the semi driven by Bell drifted into Wright's lane and side-swiped the patrol vehicle on the driver side.

Bell apologized to the trooper but shortly after Lehi Police arrived he took off on foot.

Officers caught up with Bell and arrested him.

“They found what appears to be methamphetamine on the person. He was taken to the hospital,” said Lt. Rich Christianson with the Utah Highway Patrol.

Lehi Police said Bell was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony drug possession and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. He was also cited with traffic violations in relation to the crash.

This isn't Trooper Wright's first brush with death. His car was also hit while helping on an accident scene in December -- all because drivers wouldn't move over.

The Move Over Law has been in effect since 2002 and carries a $115.00 fine.

“It is not necessarily put in place just for us," said Trooper George Hansen. "But how many times do we have the everyday motorist trying to change a tire or fix something on their vehicle on the side of the road and you have vehicles going past them also?”

“We try to provide as much traffic control as we can and an early warning to anyone on the side of the road,” Hansen added.

In Utah County, five troopers have been hit while on the side of the road this winter.

While Trooper Hansen wrote one person a ticket for speeding, we decided to see how many cars would move over. In close to five minutes, four cars ignored the law.

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