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Belmont County

Belmont County

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Ohio’s Move Over Law getting social media boost

Updated: Wednesday, May 21 2014, 06:46 PM EDT
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio -- Transportation officials are taking to the Information Superhighway with a social media campaign that is sweeping across the country.
It's all to increase awareness and protect roadside workers by moving over, or slowing down.
"It's very dangerous," Belmont County Transportation Manager Jerry Campbell said. "There are cars traveling 70 miles per hour."
In the blink of an eye, everything can change. Now a movement and an amended law are working to keep Ohio's roadside workers, our family members and friends safe.
"They're trying to provide a safe traveling roadway for the citizens of Ohio and those traveling through Ohio," Campbell said.
The original "Move Over" law took effect in Ohio in 2004 to reduce risk to law enforcement officers, emergency responders and tow operators.
Then, last December, the "Move Over" law was amended to apply to every stationary vehicle with flashing lights, including road construction, maintenance and utility crews.    
Now a new campaign is going viral. Public safety agencies, and departments of transportation across the country, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, are posting pictures on social media as a plea to the public for the safety of its workers.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is following suit.
There's now a #MoveOver campaign trending to increase awareness on the law.
So, why move over? Well, the statistics nationwide are staggering.
"Every six days, a tow truck driver is struck across the nation," Campbell said. "Twenty-three highway workers and one law enforcement officer are hit every month."
Statistics say five firefighters are hit and killed per year. Stranded drivers are generally no safer.
"We're hoping that they'll just pay attention to them and slow down, or move over when possible," Campbell said.
In a statement, ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, "Our employees are the foundation of the department. They work under dangerous conditions to ensure our bridges and highways are safe and well-maintained. We are asking the public to follow the law and help keep our workers safe."
The state of Ohio takes this law so seriously that fines for drivers found to be in violation are doubled.
It's $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second violation within a year of the first, and a whopping $1,000 for three or more violations in a year.
But the law does recognize that sometimes it's just not safe or possible to move over. In those situations, drivers are asked to slow down and proceed with caution.
Ohio's Move Over law applies to all interstates and state highways and can be enforced by any law enforcement officer.

Ohio’s Move Over Law getting social media boost

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