Safer Workers

ROADWAY SAFETY is of paramount importance. Whatever steps needed to make roads safer should be implemented.

Most times safety is simply focused on the motorists. However, another large segment is frequently placed in harm’s way.

Construction and maintenance workers on roadways are cast in perilous situations. If they are involved in an accident with a vehicle more than likely it will turn fatal in nature.

That is why the action taken by the Ohio General Assembly this week receives our staunch support. The state’s “Move Over Law” was a useful piece of legislation.

Now it is a more compherensive piece of legislation, as the General Assembly revised the law to protect safety of road construction and maintenance workers.

Senate Bill 137 gained passage Wednesday. The new version of Ohio’s “Move Over Law” requires motorists to slow down and, as conditions permit, shift to an adjacent lane when approaching construction, maintenance and public utilities commission vehicles that are parked on the roadside with flashing, oscillating or rotating lights.

In the previous law, motorists were required to do so only when approaching police and other emergency vehicles, including tow trucks.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials championed the cause. Their safety crusade was backed by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

“A cornerstone of ODOT’s mission is the safety of all who drive on or work on Ohio’s roads,” said Jerry Wray, ODOT director. “The expanded Move Over Law is a critical step to improving the safety of our workers, who risk their lives and well-being every day to care for the excellent transportation system the citizens of Ohio have come to expect. We at ODOT are tremendously grateful to Gov. Kasich and the General Assembly for acting to protect our people.”

We agree. The new legislation makes good sense, as it safeguards thousands of workers who are exposed to heightened danger in their daily jobs.

If the new “Move Over Law” helps avert just one roadway accident, it will be deemed a success.