PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida Highway Patrol trooper had a close call Wednesday night.
Corporal Justin Bloom was sitting on the inside lane of U.S. 19 south of Seville Boulevard monitoring a construction zone with his emergency lights on, when a PT Cruiser sideswiped his patrol car.
Video cameras from inside the patrol car captured the impact.
Corporal Bloom suffered minor injuries but moved his cruiser behind the other car and checked on the driver. 75-year-old Janet Rankin, from Royal Palm Beach, told the trooper that she didn’t see him until it was too late.
Paramedics transported her to Mease Countryside Hospital where doctors treated her for minor injuries. Troopers charged her with violation of the Move Over Law.
In Florida, it’s the law to move over for all emergency vehicles, including patrol cars, fire trucks and tow trucks. If traffic is heavy and you can’t move over, you are required to reduce your speed to 20 miles an hour below the posted speed limit.
8 On Your Side’s Chip Osowski rode along with Lieutenant Rodney Johnson with the Clearwater Police Department Friday and spoke to him about how frequent incidents like the one Corporal Bloom encountered actually are.
“Some of these drivers are moving over for us and some of them don’t… whether it’s just they don’t care to make the effort or they just aren’t educated,” Johnson said.
He also mentioned how dangerous Pinellas County can be for drivers.
“It’s just a very dangerous county. It’s very populated. A lot of vehicle traffic,” Johnson said. “And in this day and age, a lot of distractions for drivers. That’s why it’s even more important for people to move over for you. Emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, All of us have families, we want to go home to our family. “
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