Police Pulled Over the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for Failing to Obey Traffic Laws
Earlier this month, the hot dog experts at Oscar Mayer announced they had begun their annual search for fresh-faced Wienermobile recruits. Part of landing one of these “Hotdogger” positions is learning to drive—and even parallel park—the Wienermobile. Apparently, however, one current Hotdogger neglected to obey every rule of the road. Earlier this week, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department announced they’d pulled over the 27-foot hot dog on wheels.
In the end, the department—which posted about the encounter on social media—took mercy on the massive metal sausage, opting to give the driver a verbal warning instead of a ticket or fine. And to be fair to the Hotdogger behind the wheel, it’s not like they were speeding down the road, pepped up on yellow mustard and swerving into oncoming traffic. Instead, they violated a very specific driving rule: the Move Over Law.
“When a motorist sees a vehicle on the side of the road with its emergency lights flashing (red, blue and amber), they are required to move out of the lane closest to the vehicle if possible,” the Sheriff’s Department explained. “If a safe lane change is not possible, or the motorist is traveling on a two-lane roadway, they are required to slow their vehicle, maintain a safe speed for traffic conditions, and drive at a reduced speed until completely past the vehicle.”
The site MoveOverLaws.com states that, as of 2012, all 50 states now have a version of a Move Over law. But since many have only been enacted in the past couple decades, some drivers may not be as familiar with them as they should be.
As a result, though the cops didn’t explicitly state that they pulled over the Weinermobile to make an example of them, a viral image of a pulled over hot dog is certainly a good way to remind people of this very important law. “One of the most dangerous places for emergency responders and maintenance personnel is along the side of the road. Each year hundreds of these hard working men and women are injured or killed by passing motorists while working along the nation’s highways,” the Facebook post concluded.
Meanwhile, for their part, Oscar Mayer told CNN that their drivers should know better. “Since the inception of the Hotdogger program, we've promoted safety first and ensured all Hotdoggers are up-to-date on all rules of the road,” Lynne Galia, a spokesperson for Oscar Mayer’s parent company Kraft Heinz, was quoted as saying. “We have reinforced the importance of obeying all traffic laws, including the Move Over Law, and will continue to do so to ensure safe roadways for all.”
And the brand is putting its money where its mouth is.
Following the incident, Oscar Mayer is selling "Road Hog" t-shirts with the famous photo and donating the proceeds to the National Road Safety Foundation. The shirt costs $29.99 and can be purchased on Oscar Mayer's online shop.