PUTTING SLOW DOWN MOVE OVER LAW TO THE TEST
COLUMBUS (Thursday, September 29, 2016) – Their job assignment for today—Routine. Cut overgrown brush on Interstate 70 in Madison County to improve visibility for the motoring public. All work done from the shoulder so no travel lanes would close.
For this ODOT Madison County brush cutting crew, there’s one more thing. Slow Down or Move Over so these men and women can make it home to their loved ones at the end of the work day.
The death of an ODOT worker on Interstate 71 in Delaware County three years ago sparked a change in the Move Over law in Ohio originally enacted in 2004.
In 2013, the law was amended to include all roadside workers—ODOT and any service vehicle. The law requires you to move over one lane or slow down if you can when driving by ANY vehicle with flashing lights on the side of a road.
“Our lives depend on it," said Jack Marchbanks, ODOT District 6 Deputy Director. “Avoiding distractions and being aware of all roadside workers makes travel safer for everyone.”
Partnering with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, ODOT wanted to see firsthand if motorists were obeying the law and moving over. Troopers along with ODOT observed drivers today on Interstate 70 as that Madison County crew cut brush.
According to statistics obtained from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, more than 10,000 traffic tickets have been issued from 2011 through 2015. “Traffic safety depends on everyone,” said Lieutenant Jacob Pyles, of the Patrols West Jefferson Post. “Anytime you see a worker along the roadway Ohio law requires you to slow down, and move over if possible.”
Last year, Ohio recorded the highest number of work zone crashes in a decade with more than 6,000, including 30 fatalities. The majority of those injured or killed were motorists.
“The whole point of this exercise is safety, “said Marchbanks. “For years, we have tried to educate the motoring public about moving over or slowing down. What else do we need to do to make it safer for all roadside workers?”
Since the Move Over law was amended, ODOT has launched annual public education campaigns on the web and to the media including several ODOT social media sites. ODOT has also used highway messaging to remind drivers to obey the law.
Wednesday, drivers across Ohio saw this message on more than 130 digital message boards:
District 6 has also been posting messages on social media every day during the month of September to reinforce the slow down, move over message.
Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ODOTColumbusDistrict6
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ODOT_Columbus
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.