California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Sacramento
Matt Rocco
(916) 654-4020

October 19, 2009

NEW "MOVE OVER" LAW WILL INCREASE SAFETY FOR CALTRANS HIGHWAY WORKERS

Sacramento –Caltrans wants the public to know about a new law signed by the governor that requires motorists to move over or slow down when they see a Caltrans vehicle flashing warning lights. 

The new law, Senate Bill 240 (State Senator Roderick Wright), adds Caltrans vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights to the list of vehicles for which motorists must slow down and, if safe, move over to a lane not immediately adjacent to the stationary vehicle. 

“This protects the safety of our workers,” said Caltrans Director Randy Iwasaki.  “Highway workers face the same dangers from fast moving traffic as emergency personnel and tow-truck operators.  We appreciate the leadership and recognition of the legislature and governor for the need to provide a safer working environment for our employees.”

Since 1924, 174 Caltrans workers have lost their lives in the line of duty.  On July 23, 2009, Caltrans worker Don Lichliter was struck and fatally injured by a passing truck on Highway 99 in Lodi.  He was with another worker applying a fertilizer treatment to keep eucalyptus trees healthy.  Their truck was parked on the shoulder.

To date, 45 other states have enacted similar laws requiring motorists to move over or slow down.  Violation of the new provision is punishable by a fine of not more than $50.  The new law also makes the safety protections permanent by removing the sunset date (January 1, 2010) from existing law.