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Sat June 25 2022

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Ohio changes law to protect road construction workers

12 Dec 13 The US state of Ohio has passed a bill designed to protect the safety of construction and maintenance workers operating on Ohio roads.

The new version of Ohio’s ‘Move Over Law; requires motorists to slow down and, as conditions permit, shift to an adjacent lane when approaching construction, maintenance and public utilities commission vehicles that are parked on the roadside with flashing, oscillating or rotating lights. Under the previous law, motorists were required to do so only when approaching police and other emergency vehicles, including tow trucks.

Officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission partnered in this legislative effort to provide their respective agencies’ workers appropriate protection while performing their duties.

“A cornerstone of ODOT’s mission is the safety of all who drive on or work on Ohio’s roads,” said Jerry Wray, ODOT director. “The expanded Move Over Law is a critical step to improving the safety of our workers, who risk their lives and well-being every day to care for the excellent transportation system the citizens of Ohio have come to expect.”

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“I’m proud of the work that our roadway employees do on a daily basis, under very dangerous conditions,” said Ohio Turnpike executive director Richard Hodges. “It is because of their work in maintaining the road that the Ohio Turnpike is consistently rated as the best toll road in the entire nation.  As an agency, we continually do what we can to create the safest possible work conditions for our employees.”

Since 2008, more than 600 collisions have occurred between the travelling public and ODOT vehicles and equipment. One such incident in April 2013 resulted in the death of 27-year-old Lee Rizor, a father of two and five-year veteran of ODOT’s workforce.  Just 15 months earlier, a similar tragedy occurred on the Ohio Turnpike when a tractor trailer plowed into a maintenance crew in rural Fremont, killing John Fletcher who had worked for the Turnpike for 28 years, and seriously injuring two other employees.  Due to the extent of their injuries, neither of these Turnpike workers have been able to resume their employment.

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