Widow: ‘Move Over Law’ is a forward step

Cars must slow down, shift lanes for construction and maintenance vehicles.
Associated Press
Dec 29, 2013
A new law requiring drivers in Ohio to slow down and shift lanes if possible for construction and maintenance vehicles is a good start, said the widow of a road crew worker killed two years ago on the Ohio Turnpike.

The “Move Over Law” that took effect means drivers will need to approach construction and maintenance with the same caution as emergency vehicles on the roadside.

Gov. John Kasich recently signed the measure.

The law will apply when motorists approach construction, maintenance and public utilities commission vehicles parked on the side of the road with their alert lights turned on.

If drivers can’t move over because of traffic or safety issues, they should slow down until passing a road crew.

Violators will receive warnings instead of citations over the next three months. After that, they could be cited with a minor misdemeanor Penalties could increase if the driver has had multiple infractions within a year.

The directors of the state Department of Transportation and the Ohio Turnpike have said the measure would boost safety for roadway workers.

The Department of Transportation says motorists have had more than 600 collisions with its vehicles and equipment since 2008. In one case last April, a 27-year-old employee was killed.

Amy Fletcher, whose husband was killed in February 2012 on the turnpike, told The Blade it was hard to know if the law could have prevented the fatal crash.

“There are many things that need to be done,” she said. “Driver attention is one of the most important issues to keep them safe out there. It doesn’t matter how many flashing lights, cones, barrels, or miles of warning you give drivers, if the driver isn’t paying attention, the risk still exists. There is more to be done to respect workers”

Her husband, Forest Fletcher, 53, died when a truck driver plowed into a road crew. Two other workers were seriously injured and still have not returned to their jobs.

The truck driver pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and was sentenced to 60 days in jail while also losing his commercial driver’s license for five years.

Comments

Restless1

The law also applies to police vehicles with their lights on.

BabyMomma

Hasn't that been a law for years and years?

Stop It

+1^...WTF?

(I must be getting a warning of some type. I can't post here or Norwalk site without filling out the captcha...)

eyekerry1

Great law, needs more enforcement. This by no means is meant to be disrespectful of local and/or state law enforcement. I am well aware their plates are full. I average driving anywhere from 150 to 300 miles a day five days a week. I travel every type of road Ohio has to offer and yes, there is construction everywhere. The biggest problem... drivers who don't believe laws apply to them. I do my best to maintain the posted limit and I will admit to pushing it at times, usually when some joker is close enough behind to read my GPS. NOTE: One car length for every 10 miles per hour!! What amazes me is how many people just blow by me like, as cliché as it is, I'm standing still. Huge signs - FINE and/or JAIL For Worker Injury! Another thing is, what's with raising many of the highway speed limits? It's nice to get somewhere faster but now drivers become velocitized (see following link http://www.urbandictionary.com/d...) at a faster speed making construction zones feel more like rush hour. Again I know there are millions on the road and catching every fool is next to impossible so it comes down to plan old common sense. If you've never lost someone from a senseless accident, it's impossible to express the pain. Hard to believe your son, daughter, mother, father, may never be home again because some moron had to be first to the merge lane or found their text message more important than a human life. My hats off to the workers laying their lives on the line and law enforcement's attempt to stop the idiots. Please stop more.

Don S

I agree with most of what you have said, but when a construction site is NOT active, then the barricades, drums and cones should be off the road surface. Because with these on the road and no work is being done, people then tend to ignore them.

Peninsula Pundit

+1

tk

eyekerry1, I agree. Since you are on the road so much, I wish you a very safe New Year.

G_Richardson

I sometimes wonder why people need to legislate common sense. I mean workers standing feet away from a highway with the flashing dodads and construction equipment all over the place would be a pretty good sign that we need to slow down and be more careful.
The old guy at the end of the bar used to say "If people would use their head meat, Common sense would be more common"

BabyMomma

Laws can't change ignorance. Ignorance is flourishing these days. Workers need to keep their heads on a swivel, drivers need their heads out of their A$$E$. And phones out of their hands. It's illegal to shoot people, people still get shot.

cantsay

This also includes tow trucks. The law for years were police vehicles these vehicles just got added. The law is also slow down 20 mph below speed limit if you can not move over 1 lane of travel.

Peninsula Pundit

I cannot seem to find the text of the new law.
Could you pass it on?
I'd find it odd that there would be a set MPH drop required.
What if the road speed limit is 35?

Peninsula Pundit

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
MOVE OVER FOR ANYONE BROKE DOWN ALONGSIDE THE ROAD!
That's just common sense, safety and courtesy.
Oh, and when you do move over?
YOU DON'T HAVE TO SLOW DOWN IF YOU MOVE OVER!
The new law doesn't say 'Slow Down AND Move Over.'
It says,'Slow Down if you CANT move over.'
If you can move over, remain at the legal speed.
If not, then Slow Down.

Unassumer

I don't think moving over would have saved this man since the driver was reckless to say the least. Everyone should slow down when there is construction, pedestrians, bicycles, etc, but many don't. I do object to cars coming into my lane on a 2 lane road while passing a bike or car pulled over to the side. So they won't hit that person but they might hit me head on! If people drive cautiously and defensively it will help prevent accidents, but so many people on their phones or distracted by something seems to be the norm. The law might help somewhat on highways I guess but is not going to prevent all harm to construction workers.

Kingsin

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