By law, citizens of California are required by law to give emergency and construction vehicles pulled to the side of the road ample space. This is known as The Move Over Law, and it came into being back in 2007 as a means to protect otherwise defenseless officials assisting motorists or working to improve the roads.
That said, the last couple of weeks have not been kind to workers and police on the side of the road. Since September 16, Caltrans workers, contractors, and California Highway Patrol officials have all been involved in vehicle accidents related to construction areas and road assistance work. Because of this, the CHP, the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, and Caltrans are asking that motorists respect the Move Over law.
A new report out of Northern California delves further into the agencies’ efforts to reduce accidents around construction zones. Caltrans notes that they attempt to provide more of a cushion to road workers than that provided by a simple set of orange cones. But having a full lane of space between workers and the road isn’t always possible, and even when it is, drivers are asked to get over a lane for workers when safe to do so.
The report also casts a spotlight on a campaign dating back to 1999 called Slow for the Cone Zone. That campaign stressed a need to reduce speed in construction areas, and the agency notes that it has helped the state achieve a 56% reduction in deaths.