WATCH: 16-Year Old MN Driver Gets Cited After Flying Past Officer
The driver was cited for failure to exercise the Ted Foss Move Over Law.
The older I get the more I realize how young and immature I was when I got my driver's license. I was 16 and felt on top of the world -- I'd just completed Driver's Education and was entering a new season of adult privilege and responsibility. The world was my oyster, and I could now drive wherever I wanted to (as long as I could afford to pay for gas). While I was thrilled to be cruising town in a Buick Regal as old as I was, I can only imagine what my parents were thinking and feeling. I look at 16-year olds behind the wheel now and think, "Good grief, they're just babies! They're not old enough to be behind the wheel yet!"
I still remember the first time I got pulled over for speeding. I was about 20 or 21 and travelling from Illinois to visit my sister at college in St. Paul. I was in the Hudson, WI area and -- after being on the road five hours already with the end finally in sight -- I was a little heavy-footed on the pedal. Suddenly, the tell-tale flashing red and blue lights appeared in my rearview mirror. The patrol officer was kind and gracious and may even have let me off with a warning (I don't remember for sure). Still, a kid who follows the rules and doesn't like getting in trouble, the situation left my shaken and in tears. It still stands out as a learning moment all these years later.
One Minnesota teenager got a learning opportunity of her own after speeding past a Ramsey police officer who was assisting another driver. A video recently posted on Youtube by MN Safety shows dashcam footage of the incident. "16yo flies past officer (Ramsey, Minnesota, USA)," reads the video's caption. While the video was uploaded on July 24, 2021 snow visible on the ground indicates that the video was originally recorded in the winter. The video begins with a police officer helping a stopped motorist on the side of the road. Vehicles can be seen passing in the far lane. As the officer returns to his vehicle, however, one vehicle passes by at a fast rate of speed in the near lane. Getting into his squad car, the officer quickly pulls out and begins to follow the car, lights and sirens on. As he approaches the car from behind, the driver seems either unconcerned or uncertain, first switching lanes before eventually pulling over and stopping on the shoulder. The officer gets out and approaches the driver side.
"I don't have a mask with me," the driver says right away.
"You don't have to wear one if you don't want to," the officer replies. The driver goes onto explain that she doesn't have her license with her before the officer jumps in.
"Did you see behind you for, like, the past mile...?" Her reply is masked by the sounds of passing vehicles, and ensuing conversation is hard to make out. According to the video's details section, the 16-year old female driver admitted that she knew she should have moved into the far lane when passing the police officer. The officer let her off for not having her license but did issue her a citation for the Ted Foss law.
According to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, Theodore Joseph "Ted" Foss was struck and killed by a tractor trailer in 2000 while conducting a traffic stop on I-90 in Rochester, Minnesota. He was 35 years old. The Ted Foss Move Over Law requires that drivers (1) "must keep over one full lane away [when traveling on a road with two or more lanes] from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated — ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance and construction vehicles" and (2) failing to take these actions endangers personnel who provide critical and life-saving services" and "fines can exceed $100."