Local law enforcement officers hit during traffic stops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local law enforcement officers hit during traffic stops

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(KWWL) -

Four law enforcement officers hit while in their patrol cars in three separate incidents over the last two weeks.

The latest happening during Sunday's snowstorm.

Dashcam video shows an Iowa State Trooper bracing as car heads towards his squad car.

Then the car, not seen in the video, slams into the back of the squad car after sliding on the icy roads in Buchanan County.

KWWL's Jessica Hartman did a ride-a-long with a state trooper to talk about the dangers law enforcement face on the highways.

Iowa State Trooper Jeff Reed says although it is something they do day-in and day-out, stepping out of the patrol car can still be nerve-racking.

 "We are looking in our mirrors before we get out; looking for what is going to happen before it happens. He saw it coming," said Trooper Reed referring to the state trooper who was hit in his squad car Sunday.

The trooper saw it coming, but couldn't do anything but brace for the impact.

This not an isolated incident. Last week, a Waterloo Police Officer was hit head-on by an alleged drunk driver while responding to the call.

Days before that, two Cedar Rapids Officers injured and the driver and passenger of the car killed when the car lost control and hit the officers' SUV while responding to a separate traffic stop.

It is a risk law enforcement officers take every time they pull someone over; every time they step out of the vehicle.

"I just hope people see me. It is a scary thought and you kind of throw that in the back of your head because you have a job to do. But knowing that people are flying by me at 65/75 mph can be a really scary thought," said Trooper Reed.

Bright flashing lights and using the passenger side window to speak to drivers are safety precautions set in places by law enforcement, but the precautions can't combat careless or distracted driving.

"Slow down. Look ahead. There are other people on the road too; not just yourself. We are trying to keep everybody safe and it can be really hard to do if you are in a hurry to get somewhere and not paying attention. Just makes it very difficult," said Trooper Reed.

These aren't new safety tips, but they are important especially in winter road conditions.

Trooper Reed asks drivers to always be looking ahead, slow down, and move over for emergency vehicles.

Thankfully all four officers in these incidents had only minor injuries.

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