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Reps. Ruhl and McGregor Applaud Passage of Highway Safety Legislation

Bill adds to "Move Over, Slow Down" initiative
June 25, 2013
Republican Newsroom

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Today, Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-Mount Vernon) and Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 172, which requires vehicles to slow down, proceed with caution and, if possible, change lanes when passing highway maintenance vehicles that are stopped.

Highway maintenance vehicles include snow plows, traffic lane stripers, road sweepers, mowing machines, cement trucks and various other highway maintenance vehicles. In order to protect the safety of drivers and highway workers, the bill mandates that vehicles attempt to change lanes cautiously to avoid being in the lane adjacent to the stationary highway maintenance vehicle. Depending on weather and traffic, the law specifies that changing lanes is not always an option but vehicles are required to slow down and proceed with caution. Regulations differ depending on the number of lanes.

“It is vital that we protect the lives of our highway maintenance workers. Earlier this year, an ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) employee in my district died as a result of a collision on the highway, “ said Rep. Ruhl, who is joint sponsoring the bill. “By increasing the motoring public’s awareness of our highway maintenance workers and providing them a buffer zone, we will reduce these types of accidents.”

Currently, state law requires similar actions when approaching a stopped public safety vehicle, emergency vehicle or road service vehicle as part of the “Move Over, Slow Down” initiative. House Bill 172 adds to this law.

“I am pleased that we are not only taking legislative action to help remedy the dangers highway maintenance safety workers face, but also that we are bringing awareness to this important issue,” said Rep. McGregor, who is also joint sponsoring the bill. “It is imperative for the motoring public to do their part to ensure another roadside tragedy does not occur.”

H.B. 172 passed with bipartisan support and will now move to the Senate for consideration.