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.