We have all witnessed when someone is pulled over on the side of the road, and passing cars continue to drive past without switching lanes. While this may seem harmless at the time, it can produce dangerous results. Ohio implemented the Move Over law in 2004, but since then, the law has been revised and was expanded in December 2013. The Move Over law requires drivers to move to a different lane when passing any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights that is stopped or parked on the roadside. The law applies to all interstates and state highways throughout Ohio. It is designed to protect everyone who works on Ohio roads and everyone who travels on them.
The law applies to every vehicle, including road construction, maintenance, and utility crews on the roadside. Across the United States, hundreds of people are injured or killed every year by being struck by a vehicle after pulling onto the side of a road or highway. According to the Move Over Law website, on average, these “struck-by” accidents kill one tow-truck driver every six days, 23 highway workers every month, one law enforcement official every month, and five firefighters every year. Most work zone crash fatalities are the motorists. These accidents can be avoided by following this law, obeying the speed limit, and using extra caution in any work zone areas.
The state understands that sometimes it may not be safe or possible to change lanes due to traffic, weather conditions, or lane restrictions. In those situations, you must slow down, drive cautiously, and be prepared to stop. Officials will give you a ticket if you do not comply with the Move Over law. The law can be enforced by any level of officer, including state highway patrols, local police, and county deputies. It is considered a misdemeanor, and violators can be fined anywhere from $300 to $1,000 based on the violation.
If you do not have a law like this in your state, try following similar rules. These kinds of accidents can certainly be avoided if the right precautions are taken. For more information about Ohio’s Move Over law, visit MoveOver.Ohio.Gov.