My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the law enforcement officers and innocent bystanders who are killed or injured by the present law enforcement pullover procedures.

It’s time to change the laws and procedures of traffic stops and the use of emergency lanes.

The law that requires drivers to vacate the lane next to emergency situations isn’t enough. Most drivers don’t even know about it.

Just about every day, there are news accounts of deaths or injuries due to the present procedures of how law enforcement make normal traffic stops.

More often than not, someone driving drunk, or otherwise impaired, plows into the stopped cars, killing or injuring people.

Presently, the procedure is for the law enforcement vehicle to approach the traffic violator from behind, with emergency lights flashing. The suspected violator simply pulls over ASAP.

This usually means that on the freeway both vehicles are parked in the emergency lane. Even if the cars are on a highway feeder road, they’re exposed to heavy traffic. Both situations put both parties in harm’s way.

I suggest that the laws and procedures for all traffic stops be changed to a much safer way.

Instead of just pulling over when the police car pulls up behind your car, you must turn on your emergency blinkers, take the next exit, and turn and stop at the next side street, out of heavy traffic.

In rural areas when the traffic stop is forced to park alongside the road, there needs to be procedures. Both vehicles should be well off the road. The officer should always approach the car on the opposite side of traffic.

Oddly enough, the term “emergency lane” isn’t used for emergencies in many cases.

Any car parked in the emergency lane is exposed to disaster. When a car breaks down and is actually in an emergency situation, by law, wreckers should tow them to a safe place.

Texas should have laws like other states that require slower traffic to keep to the right.

If you agree, please contact your state representative and local law enforcement.

Bill Cochrane lives in Galveston.


(1) comment

Bill Cochrane

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, 34, was inspecting a semi on the side of westbound U.S. Route 20, just west of state Route 75 around 12:30 p.m. Officials said a truck tractor veered off the road and struck her squad car. Jones-Story was outside her vehicle at the time and was fatally struck her.
Is "inspecting a semi" pulled over on a highway really important enough to take a life. If the procedure I suggest was used this probably would not has happened.

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