Spring has arrived with its profusion of color: whites and pinks … and orange — lots of orange — as in the orange of work zones.
National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 17-21) reminds motorists to be careful around those whose jobs put them along the roadways. Northeastern reminds motorists that work zones also include utility crews who work along the roadsides to build, repair and maintain the highway of electric power lines. Sometimes, crews can be around the next corner or just over the hill — day or night.
“While routine line work is done during daylight hours, emergencies happen at any time,” said Jared Boggs at Northeastern REMC. “We want to remind motorists our crews can be working at all hours and to be careful when they see warning signs and flaggers.”
When motorists see the orange diamond-shaped work zone warning signs and vehicles with flashing amber lights, they should slow down and prepare for the zone ahead.
Indiana law requires motorists to approach cautiously and change lanes away from emergency vehicles if they can do so safely. If not, they should reduce their speed to 10 mph under the posted speed limit and proceed with caution. Motorists should not stop in the roadway; this may cause a rear-end collision with other vehicles.
Emergency vehicles protected by the law include:
• Police vehicles
• Fire trucks and rescue equipment
• Highway incident-response vehicles
• Highway maintenance vehicles
• Utility service vehicles
• Tow trucks
Violating the law can result in a fine and a suspended license. Steeper penalties, including jail time, are enforced for infractions within work zones.
Though move-over laws are only for emergency vehicles, drivers should always be courteous to those parked on the shoulder. Give them room to safely repair their vehicles and help prevent tragedies.
“Working on energized power lines at all hours and in all kinds of weather is dangerous enough for lineworkers,” added Boggs. “Please do not make it more dangerous by speeding so closely by them.”
Sources: Indiana State Police, Workzonesafety.org, moveoverlaws.com