10 years after trooper’s death, Move Over law more known than ever

Trooper Larkins was struck by a tractor trailer on Interstate 40 in Dickson County after he pulled someone over on July 8, 2005.

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Ten years after Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Larkins was killed while on duty, members of law enforcement say the Move Over law is saving lives.

Trooper Larkins was struck by a tractor trailer on Interstate 40 in Dickson County after he pulled someone over on July 8, 2005.

Trooper Larkins was struck by a tractor trailer on Interstate 40 in Dickson County after he pulled someone over on July 8, 2005.
Trooper Larkins was struck by a tractor trailer on Interstate 40 in Dickson County after he pulled someone over on July 8, 2005.

Larkins was 31 years old.

“The semi just didn’t move over,” said Larkins’ widow, Alicia. “It hit him and killed him instantly.”

The semi-truck driver violated the Move Over law, which “requires motorists to move over into the adjacent lane of traffic, when safe to do so, or alternatively to slow down for emergency vehicles.”

Since Larkins’ death, Alicia Larkins has worked to raise awareness for the Move Over law and increase the penalties for violators.

“We couldn’t save Todd. God called him home,” Alicia said. “If there’s anything we can do to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family, then that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Today, every THP patrol car on the roads has a bumper sticker on the back that reads “Move Over, Save a Life – In Memory of Tennessee State Trooper Todd Larkins.”

THP Colonel Tracy Trott said more drivers than ever are aware of the Move Over law.

“I’m seeing more and more people pay attention to the law, obey the law, almost sometimes to the extreme,” said Col. Trott.

“Move Over, Save a Life – In Memory of Tennessee State Trooper Todd Larkins.”
“Move Over, Save a Life – In Memory of Tennessee State Trooper Todd Larkins.”

Trott told News 2 motorists need to understand that the law does not require drivers to move over for emergency vehicles if it is not safe to do so.

If you can’t get over safely, just slow down and proceed with caution.

“Sometimes people just need to do that instead of trying to break their neck getting into the other lane of traffic and causing a chain reaction crash,” Trott said.

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