Winter weather concerning for highway police

PAW PAW, Mich. -- Winter weather conditions are dangerous not only for drivers, but police as well. Thousands of officers are killed or injured by the side of the road annually. State law requires drivers to slow down and change lines, but when it's this slick out, it can be more difficult.

Flashing lights and fast cars; they don't always mix.

"I've worked as a trooper for 25 years, and you never turn your back out on traffic here," Jim Gillespie, a Michigan State Trooper, said. "Things happen too fast at highway speeds and white-out conditions."

Both Indiana and Michigan state laws require drivers to slow down and change lanes upon seeing police lights.

But when it's this slick out, that's easier said than done.

"People are constantly going too fast for conditions, and following each other too closely," Gillespie said.

Often, the most dangerous part of a winter slideoff or crash is what follows.

"A lot of times, slideoffs where nobody has been in a wreck, will cause accidents to happen," Gillespie said. "Because people are watching what other people have done or doing, and not paying attention to the road."

And that's why police are encouraging folks to take it easy, and slow down.

Something as simple as decreasing your speed by 10 miles per hour can help save a life.

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