This month marks the 10th anniversary of California’s “Move Over” law expanding to include Caltrans vehicles, and Saturday Oct. 19 was observed as National Move Over Day. Caltrans wants this milestone to serve as a reminder of just how important it is for motorists to follow motor vehicle safety laws.
California’s “Move Over” law requires all drivers to move over a lane or, if they are unable to do that safely, slow down when they see amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles, law enforcement and emergency vehicles, and tow trucks.
“Every year, highway workers, law enforcement officers, emergency personnel, and tow truck drivers are killed or injured along California’s roadways,” said Acting Caltrans Director Bob Franzoia. “Californians can help keep workers safe by slowing down in work zones, complying with the ‘Move Over’ law and always being work zone alert.”
Although all 50 states have enacted “Move Over” laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 71 percent of Americans have not heard of them. In California, failure to obey the Move Over Law can result in fines up $1,000, plus points on your driving record.
To increase awareness of this life-saving law, Caltrans has partnered with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to launch the “Move Over” campaign. It is part of the department’s larger “Be Work Zone Alert” highway safety campaign, which includes public service announcements, billboards, radio, television and social media.
“It only takes a split second of inattention to destroy lives at a work zone,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Motorists must give all workers a safe place along the side of California’s roads.”
Crews working on shoulders or closed lanes work just inches from moving traffic, so giving them some extra space helps keep everyone safe and traffic flowing. Inattentive driving, following too closely and speeding are the top three causes of work zone crashes – and all are preventable if travelers slow down, move over and pay attention in and near work zones.
“From maintaining roads to helping crash victims to fixing a flat, highway workers go above and beyond to make sure the rest of us get where we want to go safely,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “They also have families they go home to, so please look out for workers and keep a safe distance when you see them.”
“Tow operators are some of the hardest working people on the planet. They are out on the roads every hour of every day, protecting the motoring public. Raising awareness of Move Over laws is the least we can do for our fallen brothers and sisters, and hopefully our message will make an impact,” said California Tow Truck Association President Quinn Piening.
More information about the campaign is available at http://beworkzonealert.com/move-over.html.