Monday, July 11, 2011

Caltrans to Motorists: When You See Flashing Lights, Move Over to Protect Highway Workers and CHP Officers

California Department of TransportationDate: July 11, 2011

District: Headquarters – Sacramento
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO – Today, 700 Caltrans electronic highway signs throughout California lit up with a new Move Over message to kickoff a statewide campaign to increase safety for motorists, highway workers and law enforcement. The message, “Slow or Move Over for Workers, It’s the Law,” will stay posted through July 22. Caltrans will also begin a new billboard campaign and issue a public service announcement to television stations statewide reinforcing the Move Over message.

In May and June, three Caltrans highway workers died on the job within 48 days - the most in such a short period of time. Since 1924, 178 Caltrans workers have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Our goal is to do everything we can to keep our highways safe,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers, and safely move over a lane when they see flashing amber lights on Caltrans or other emergency vehicles.”

The joint safety effort by Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the California Office of Traffic Safety will educate the public on the importance of moving over a lane to protect highway workers and CHP officers.

The CHP will provide the Move Over safety message during their morning traffic updates on broadcast stations statewide, and officers will be on the lookout for motorists not following the law.

“This traffic safety campaign isn’t about writing citations, it’s about providing a safer work environment for everyone who does business along the side of a highway,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The only way to prevent tragedies from occurring on the side of the road is by giving emergency personnel, highway workers, and the public adequate space.”

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