New Law Aims To Protect Road Workers

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On July 1, a new law will make it safer for people working on the sides of the road in Virginia.

Earlier this year, lawmakers voted to expand the Commonwealth's "Move Over" law. It now includes protection for tow truck drivers and highway workers who have amber colored flashing lights.

The current law applies only to motorists approaching emergency vehicles displaying red or blue flashing lights. The new law also mandates that "motorists, approaching a tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle displaying amber lights, change lanes away from the flashing lights, if possible to do so safely, and/or proceed with caution given the prevailing highway conditions."

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the law will improve safety for its employees working along roads.

"Work zones and emergency incidents on the highways are some of the most dangerous places for both highway workers and motorists as they drive through," explained VDOT Spokesperson Lou Hatter. "The move over law has proven to be an effective tool to increase the safety for emergency responders."

Virginia joins 38 other states that have already implemented the law. The offense is punishable as a traffic infraction.

Reported by Henry Graff
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