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"Move Over" Law -- Saving Workers and Motorists Statewide

December 31, 1969

Just over a week after two employees from the California Department of Transportation were killed while working to make our roadways safer, Caltrans officials honored the close to 200 workers who have lost their lives at work during the 23rd Annual Workers Memorial day at the State Capitol.
Those two fatalities were the end of close to 2 years without a Caltrans worker fatality. During this accident, a third worker sustained injuries.

With these accidents, our Costa Mesa accident lawyers are reminding drivers to be on the lookout for roadside workers. You can still keep traffic flowing by slowing down in these work zones and complying with the states "Move Over" law. The "Move Over" law took effect back in 2007 (and was amended in 2009) and it works to make sure that drivers move over if they see any amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles. By moving over and allowing extra room for crews do their job, we can help to reduce the risks for these accidents -- for you and for the roadside workers.

"What we do is important to California, but nothing is more important than the safety of our workers and the public," said Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans director.

If you can't move over a lane -- you have another option. You can slow down and proceed with caution. Whenever you see anyone on the side of the road, you should be considerate and pass with caution. You wouldn't want someone flying passed you mere feet away. Your slow and cautious maneuvers could save lives.

Since 1999, the Transportation Department has been able to make significant strides is helping to prevent these accidents, including launching the Slow for the Cone Zone safety campaign. Since the launch of these efforts, the number of work zone fatalities has dropped by close to 65 per percent, compared with a less than 35 percent nationwide.

The top causes for these kinds of accidents including, distracted driving, speeding and even alcohol. Most of these accidents can be prevented if drivers were to just pay attention, slow down and stop driving while under the influence.

We're pushing the "Move Over" law for good reason, too. According to, more than 70 percent of Americans have never even heard of these laws. Close to 90 percent say that they support these laws in all states and 90 percent believe traffic stops and roadside emergencies are dangerous for law enforcement and first responders.

As it stands now, there are 43 states that have passed some sort of "Move Over" law. California is one of them and don't forget it!

"One of the biggest hazards is a motorist who does not exercise caution while driving where highway workers are present," said John Yang, chief, Office of District Traffic Manager, Division of Operations.

If you or a family member has been injured in a traffic accident, contact personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard today for a free and confidential consultation. Call (800) 872-5925.

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