Drivers Beware: Changes to Ohio’s ‘Move Over’ Law

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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio-- Move over, and save a life. In the state of Ohio, drivers are required to slow down behind the wheel, even change lanes when a police officer is stopped on the road.

But those officers aren't the only ones who deserve attention.

There have been some recent changes to Ohio's 'Move Over' law. In early December, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 137. It expands the law to include construction and maintenance workers on Ohio roadways.

Drivers are now required to slow down and also change lanes if possible when there are workers on the roadway. It's an act of common courtesy, but it is also the law.

"It just takes one second for someone's future to be completely changed," said Lt. Mark Neff with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Back in September 2012, construction worker Peter Maglis was killed when a Brecksville man hit him in an I-90 work zone. Sadly, every year there are similar tragedies according to the OSHP.

That's why Lt. Neff believes the changes to the law are so important. "Anytime you can create more distance, more space, it creates a safer environment for everybody," said Lt. Neff.

"It's very challenging driving up to a violator's vehicle; you don't know what to expect.
Not only do you have to be concerned with the violator, but drivers at 65-70 mph," he said.

Lt. Neff told FOX 8 that the bottom line is that it is important to be aware behind the wheel.

If you can't pull over to another lane when you see a worker stopped on the road, at the very least, slow down.

"It's not just for us, if you see anybody stopped on the side of the road- a motorist- if you can, move over, give them some extra space to do what they are doing," Lt. Neff said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation hopes the expansion of the law will boost safety for roadway workers.

Drivers who don't follow the law could be cited with a minor misdemeanor.

22 comments

    • Michelle

      IKR….but there are some people out there that think everyone has to move out of their way cause they live in a box. Courtesy and common sense are a thing of the past for some people. At least now they can be ticketed for it.

  • Amy Gibson

    They need to add tow trucks to this law. The owner of a tow company I used to work for was paralyzed when a car hit his truck as he was standing at the side operating the hook.

  • Lynnette

    I’m happy they have this law which includes police and construction workers, but how about adding the fire department into that law? My husband is out on I-90 all the time for accidents and people never move over for them either.

  • Debbie T

    This is a good law and I appreciate what this will mean for the workers BUT…..it shouldn’t be “just” for police and construction workers The law should include ALL emergency personal. Wrecker drivers, paramedics and firefighters all have a job to do and sometimes they are there close to the passing vehicles also.

  • Stacey Newton

    It should be nation wide. And not only for emergency workers/construction workers. It should also be for commercial vehicles as well. People should also move over if they see a disabled semi/vehicle on the side of the road. There are times that people cannot “break down” in a safe place. They might have to change a tire, get under the hood, get out to inspect something etc. And if/when issue is remedied they will also be pulling back out into stream of traffic at a slowed pace. IF everyone moves over one lane , the once disabled vehicle could get back to moving and up to posted speed safer for all involved.

  • Jenny

    I think a story regarding driving safety wherein the reporter takes her eyes off the road several times WHILE driving in order to look at the camera is a bit ironic.

  • Rob

    Just seen on tv.
    Hay fox 8 how about we don’t drive a car down the road and report on move over driving safety AT THE SAME TIME. WOW!

  • richwhiteohio

    I don’t in any way discount the need for the law… I’m a commercial driver and have been in construction for 25 years… I extend the move over courtesy for any vehicle on the side of the road… Always! As another has posted sometimes people won’t let you over so I do slow down. However, although tragic I see all the time construction workers violating safety measures such as walking on the traffic side of barriers, barrels hit by equipment narrowing the traffic throughway without fixing them and running out into the mille of the road with cold patch and tossing it in a hole and running back with no signs alerting motorist of the work ahead.
    It may sound caulis but not addressing these issues is a serious oversight. And stop making it about fines! OSHA regularly attacks the contractor for employee violations sometimes warranted but not always. Example: OSHA sees an employee using a frayed chord… It’s a $9,800.00 fine to the company. I have seen safety standards increase a hundred fold and all the responsibility is directed towards the company and no recourse towards the actual violator that in some cases are blatantly violating company policy. You can dismiss the employee but you must still pay the fine then fight with unemployment, and never win!

  • Marilyn

    And how about making a law to use turn signal when changing lanes? Oops, that is a law. Guess everyone did forget!

  • angrymike

    No I guessed you missed it when schools started teaching indoctrination instead of common knowledge and the good old a b c’s. I started driving in 81, and the ppl back then had respect for everyone around them, now, not so much. This is what happens when government gets involved in schools, the children learn nothing of use, except maybe how to sit in front of the TV all day…,……

  • coley

    Bet you would argue with the law if it was you hanging on the highway like a sitting duck to be ran down!!! Anybody ever catch a flat tire while driving on the highway VERY SCARY when cars are coming at you 60-70 mph and looking at you and not the road in front of them!!!!!

  • Leah

    Well, I guess I just assumed you can get in trouble for hitting a construction worker. (Sarcasm) Wow how hard is it to move over anyways. You really want to rush your life and others. Sad it has to be a law, but maybe the people that don’t move over actually will now and can get fined if not.

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