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Panel moves to outlaw following police too closely

Published January 31, 2012 5:03 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Long ago, Utah outlawed cars from following within 500 feet of a fire truck as it races to a fire. But it never outlawed following a police car, ambulance or paramedics too closely as they run to emergencies — until now.

The Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to close that loophole by endorsing SB147, and sending it to the full Senate.

"I am very grateful that most people don't know that it's perfectly legal under current law to slip in behind an ambulance or a police car and follow them," said Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, sponsor of the bill.

Highway Patrol Capt. Barton Blair testified the bill will "not only benefit state troopers but all law enforcement and medical personnel in harm's way" from collisions from cars following too closely.