A team of Indiana State Police took to Interstate 69 in Delaware County on Wednesday morning in search of motorists who violated the "move-over law."
After four hours, Sgt. Tom Dujmovich, Trooper Kent Havens and Mike Barkdull, their civilian counterpart from the state's commercial- vehicle-enforcement division, were empty-handed.
"It's unusual," Trooper Kent Havens said. "I guess that's a good thing."
The eight-year-old move-over law requires motorists on four-lane highways to enter the passing lane when overtaking emergency vehicles stopped on the roadside. If the motorist cannot move over because of traffic, he must slow down or face a traffic ticket and fine.
Legislators drafted the law in direct response to the death of Trooper Andrew Winzenread, who was killed 10 years ago Wednesday on Interstate 74 in Greensburg while assisting a motorist.
Winzenread is one of seven state troopers and one civilian motor-carrier-enforcement officer struck and killed while working alongside Indiana roadways, Sgt. Rod Russell of the ISP said.
On the anniversary of Winzenread's death, state police invited media to ride along during move-over enforcement patrols to raise awareness of the problem.
Earlier this month, the state also announced a new advertising campaign that involves placing billboards in strategic areas reminding people to "Move Over or Slow Down."
The billboards feature a crushed Indiana State Police car.
Most are in the Indianapolis area and none are in Delaware County.
"We'd rather take a proactive approach to educating the public," Russell said.
While public awareness has come a long way, Havens guessed that Wednesday's rain contributed to motorist compliance, keeping interstate speeds down and forcing drivers to pay attention.
The three pulled over four commercial trucks, using the traffic stop as bait to catch motorists who violate the law.
Only perhaps a dozen vehicles failed to move over, and those were because traffic prevented them.
Havens, who was struck by a semi and injured while in his parked cruiser in 1998, was optimistic about Wednesday's results -- or lack thereof.
"It's nice to know that what we are doing is making a difference," he said.
Contact news reporter Nick Werner at 213-5832.