It is likely that those flashing lights, bright orange road cones, and warning barrels in construction areas will soon be stacking up alongside Indiana roadways. The Indiana Department of Transportation recently announced at a press conference that the road construction season is now open for business across the state. During this time it is important to also remind drivers of Indiana’s Move Over Laws.
Indiana’s Move Over Laws are intended to protect all workers performing their necessary duties on Indiana’s roadways. In addition to being prepared to protect the safety for workers in construction zones, remember that the same rules apply to emergency vehicles. This means drivers should also MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN for police, fire trucks, and ambulances.
Drivers should always use common sense and also be courteous to those who are broken down or managing to swap a flat tire on the shoulder of the road. Give them room so that they can safely repair their vehicles. Be a courteous driver and help prevent tragedies.
Move Over Laws Protect Emergency and Highway Employees
Indiana law requires drivers to be aware and approach upcoming roadways cautiously when they see emergency or highway maintenance vehicles stopped, especially when seeing their lights flashing on any two or four lane roadway. The best way to do this is for a motorist to slowly change lanes away from the emergency or maintenance vehicle – safely. If this is difficult to do, drivers can try reducing their speed to 10 mph under the highway speed limit. Reducing a vehicle’s speed increases visibility and the makes it much easier to safely react to traffic issues. Motorists should proceed with extra caution making sure not to be distracted or lose confidence in their driving skills. Motorists should NOT STOP in the roadway for any reason not directed by road officials.
MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN
As you are driving, plan well ahead by watching for these vehicles. Once you see them and their flashing lights, assess if they are traveling or managing a road situation and move over or slow down for them when needed.
- Ambulances and emergency medical vehicles
- Fire trucks and rescue equipment
- Highway incident-response vehicles
- Highway maintenance vehicles
- Police vehicles of all kinds
- Utility service vehicles
- Vehicle recovery equipment
Breaking the Move Over Law
There are things a motorist needs to do to not break Indiana’s Move Over Law. The rules require motorists to, “move into another lane if it is a multi-lane highway. If it’s a two-lane highway, motorists should go around the stopped vehicles safely.”
Violating the law can result in a fine or your license will be suspended up to two years if you cause damage to emergency equipment, injury or death to an emergency worker.
The Indiana Department of Transportation created a Public Service Announcement video concerning highway construction and work zone safety. It can be viewed and shared with others by visiting the link below.
If you are in the Indianapolis area, and injured in a car wreck as the result of someone’s negligence in following the Move Over Law, call the accident attorneys at Wagner Reese at 1-888-710-9377. We can help.