WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Obeying traffic laws in a work zone could mean the difference between life and death for road workers.
National Move Over Day is observed Saturday. It promotes safety and brings awareness to the risks first responders face while on the road.
“Ohio law requires all drivers to move over when approaching any vehicle with flashing lights or rotating lights when parked on the roadside,” said Sgt. Timothy Grimm, with the Warren Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Roadside workers risk their lives every day for the safety of others.
“Trying to do your job on one hand but also knowing at any moment, somebody who may be impaired on their phone or distracted could potentially come along and hit you,” said Jim Garrity, director of public affairs at AAA East Central.
Road workers include everyone on the road like tow truck drivers, police, construction workers and first responders.
“Tragically, troopers have been involved in 61 move-over-related crashes since 2018,” Grimm said.
Video from the Ohio State Highway Patrol shows a woman nearly hitting a worker when she didn’t move over.
The Ohio Department of Transportation indicates that as you are approaching a work zone and see that sign and signal, you should start to slow down.
“You’re protecting somebody’s life when you are doing this. You could potentially be saving somebody’s life,” Garrity said. “Paying attention and scanning well down the road and keeping your head out of your phone because that will give you the chance to move over.”
Officials say data shows speed is a significant factor when it comes to a collision. As we near winter, it’s important to pay attention and obey the law.
“The roadways will start to get slick. The roadways will cause you to not be able to stop as quickly. If you try to change lanes, you are going to lose control of the vehicle,” Grimm said.