( Columbus, Ohio ) - This summer, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Turnpike will operate more than 2,000 work zones on roadways around the state. At the same time, thousands of law enforcement officers, emergency personnel, towing crews and utility workers will be working all across the state, every day. A new state law now mandates that when you see them you move over or slow down.
In Ohio there were 4,373 crashes in work zones last year, including 1,118 injury crashes and 19 fatalities. From 2008 through 2012, ODOT vehicles and equipment were struck 590 times by passing vehicles. Of those, 359 had failed to move over.
“The most effective way we’ve found to reduce work zone crashes is to work with law enforcement and increase their presence, and this year we have a new tool in our tool box to do just that: Ohio’s Move Over Law,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.
The law, which was initially put in place in 2004 for law enforcement and expanded last December, requires motorists to cautiously shift over one lane - or slow down if changing lanes is not possible - when passing any vehicle with flashing lights on the side of a road. Failing to do so could get you a citation with fines starting at $300 for the first violation. Fines ramp up to $500 for the same violation within a year of the first, and $1,000 for more than two violations in a year.