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‘Move Over’ Laws Add Protection for Utility Vehicles

June 02, 2017

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Willmar Municipal Utilities
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Willmar Municipal Utilities

Two states have passed legislation to protect the safety of utility workers through ‘Move Over’ laws, which require drivers to change lanes when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

Iowa legislators voted to broaden its ‘Move Over’ law, applying it to utility maintenance vehicles, such as public or private electric companies, and utility services, which is defined as cable, electric, natural gas, telephone, telecommunication, water, and wastewater treatment services, reports the Des Moines Register. The expansion, which goes into effect July 1, also covers solid waste and recycling collection vehicles.

A similar law has gone into effect in the State of Colorado, named the ‘Move Over for Cody’ law in honor of State Trooper Cody Donahue who was killed by a passing vehicle while investigating a highway crash, reports KKTV. Under this law, drivers must move over and yield to any stationary emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and public utility vehicles. Failure to comply used to be a traffic offense, but is now a class 1 misdemeanor if bodily harm is caused and a class 6 felony is a death is caused.

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