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Ohio State Highway Patrol raising awareness of Ohio's Move Over law to keep ODOT workers safe

Since Jan. 2022, 83 ODOT employees, vehicles and equipment have been struck.

CLEVELAND — EDITOR’S NOTE: The video above is from a previous story that aired on 3News on April 21, 2022, after an ODOT employee was hit while patching potholes.

Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol are calling for an increase in awareness of Ohio's Move Over law. 

RELATED: ODOT employee struck while working along I-480 East in Brooklyn

The Move Over law, which exists in all 50 states, was created to help protect the lives of individuals working on roadways. 

The law requires drivers to switch to the adjacent lane when there is a vehicle with flashing or rotating lights on the side of the road. If drivers cannot move over, they must slow down and pass with caution.

Between 2017-2021, OSHP troopers issued 26,258 citations to drivers violating the law. 

“The people who work on and along our roadways each day provide a valuable service to all of us. The one thing they ask of drivers is to pay attention, move over, and slow down for them. Their safety is in your hands,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

Since Jan. 2022, 83 Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) employees, vehicles and equipment have been struck. 

One of those 83 incidents happened recently in Summit County when a dump truck veered off Interstate 77 and hit an ODOT vehicle with an employee. Both the employee and the vehicle burst into flames, resulting in serious injuries. 

RELATED: Watch: Crash involving dump truck and ODOT vehicle causes explosion on I-77 in Summit County

“The men and women working on our roads would like to make it home to their family and friends at the end of the day,” said ODOT District 4 Deputy Director Gery Noirot. “With the number of workers, vehicles, and pieces of equipment that have been struck so far this year on the rise, we desperately need motorists to move over, slow down, and pay attention for every flashing light, every time. It just may save a life.”

Last week, the Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers teamed up with ODOT in Akron when crews were repairing potholes in Summit County. Other troopers also joined crews in Intestate 80 in Trumbull County to raise awareness. 

Between the two locations and six hours of work, 18 drivers were cited for violating Ohio’s Move Over law. 

“By moving over, motorists can do their part to help protect the lives of everyone who works on or uses our roadways,” said Lieutenant Alan Ogden, Warren District Commander. “Moving over isn’t just the law; it’s the right thing to do.” 

The partnership between OSHP and ODOT is expected to continue to raise awareness of this law. 

More information on Ohio’s work zones can be found at http://www.workzonedashboard.ohio.gov/.

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