Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over
Officials with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) want motorists to know that “Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over.” If drivers see amber flashing Caltrans lights, the need to move over or slow down to protect highway workers, CHP officers and other service providers on the roadway. Although most drivers know to pull over or slow down when emergency response vehicles or law enforcement officers are approaching with flashing lights, there are still some drivers who aren’t pulling over or slowing down for Caltrans vehicles. Motorists are required, by law, to move over when it is safe to do so or slow down if they see the amber flashing lights of a Caltrans vehicle.
A Deadly Summer on California Roadway Worksites
Over the summer, Caltrans partnered with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Office of Traffic Safety to get the word out about the “Move Over” law. The joint safety effort was launched in response to the three Caltrans highway workers who were killed on the job in May and June. Although the Move Over law was put into effect in 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 that Caltrans vehicles were added. Even with the law, motorists are still dangerously ignoring Caltrans vehicles and workers.
“Slow for the Cone Zone”
In July, we reported on Caltrans’ “Slow for the Cone Zone” safety campaign, which was aimed at raising awareness about the importance of slowing down through work zones. Motorists were reminded to slow down, put down their cell phones and pay attention while traveling through work zones, so that roadway workers could make it safely home to their families at the end of the day.
Keeping Roadway Workers Safe
In 2012, there were 130 roadway worker fatalities across the U.S., and since 1924, 178 Caltrans workers have lost their lives on the job site. Keeping roadway workers safe needs to be a top priority for motorists, because of most, if not all of these crashes, are totally preventable. It all boils down to slowing down in work zones and staying alert. If you see the flashing amber lights of a Caltrans vehicle, move over or slow down and pay attention. There could be workers or roadway work situations nearby.