Washington state’s “Move Over Law” was expanded in June. Linemen and other utility workers now have the same protections for their safety as law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency responders working in emergency zones on our roadways.

The “emergency zone” definition now includes work zones for linemen maintaining or repairing power lines or equipment along roadways. 

When you see the flashing emergency lights on a truck or a bright orange sign saying “Utility Work Ahead,” move over or slow down. You will have to move out of the lane closest to a utility vehicle, including line trucks, if you can safely do so. If not, slow down 200 feet before and after a stopped vehicle that has its warning lights flashing.

PenLight’s linemen and their crews often work on power lines and electrical distribution equipment along roadways. Sometimes their job takes them out at night, in bad weather or in emergency situations.

Motorists who don’t pay attention when driving through a work zone add an extra layer of danger to this work. Linemen need to concentrate on their work, not be distracted by vehicles speeding or driving recklessly near them.

In many cases, PenLight has flaggers at each end of an area where utility work is taking place. Motorists must also pay attention to these workers. Flaggers are there to protect linemen and the public.

A driver who violates the law can be fined $1,000, receive a jail sentence and lose driving privileges.

Jim Bellamy
Peninsula Light Co.

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