Distracted drivers are everywhere, and so are utility workers, including those working for our cooperative. If you’re driving on Iowa roadways, what should you do if you approach a utility vehicle stopped on the shoulder with its flashing lights activated? According to the state’s Move Over or Slow Down law, motorists must slow down or move over, or you could be fined $100 for not complying.
The law has been on the books since 2002; it simply states that a motorist must change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency, tow or maintenance vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.
An expanded law, which took effect on July 1, 2017, now includes utility maintenance vehicles such as bucket trucks, garbage trucks, tow trucks and similar vehicles.
This means that you are required to move over or slow down when approaching an emergency or maintenance utility vehicle on the side of the road that has its flashing lights activated. As a safety best practice, we encourage you to slow down AND move over every time you approach a vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
To help spread this important safety message and to protect our linemen from serious injury or death, we urge you to take an online pledge to obey Iowa’s Move Over or Slow Down law at www.MoveOverIowa.com. Once you enter your name and zip code on the website and take the pledge, you have the option to share your pledge on Facebook or Twitter, encouraging your friends and family to do the same. And most important, when you’re behind the wheel, keep your eyes on the road and make room for maintenance workers who are on the side of the road. Their jobs are dangerous enough already.