Five years after the Tennessee’s Move Over Law was expanded to include utility workers, lineman continue to face roadside hazards
[NASHVILLE] – In 2011, following efforts by Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, the state’s Move Over law was revised to not only include police, firefighters and other first responders, but utility workers as well. Unfortunately, motorists do not always heed the law.
“We have had cars come through at high rates of speed, hitting the cones we have set up and clipping the outriggers that we have down to support the trucks,” says Greg Bryant, a lineforeman with Gibson EMC. “I think people care, they just don’t pay attention like they should.”
The requirements of the law are simple. On a four lane road, if safety and traffic conditions allow, a driver approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights should move into the far lane. On a two lane road or when changing lanes is not possible, a driver should reduce their speed.
Electric co-op vehicles aren’t the only utility vehicles covered; service vehicles used by municipal electric systems, telephone companies and utility districts are also protected by the law.
“July marks the 5th anniversary of the expansion of the law, but most motorists are still not aware of it,” says David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Our lineman perform an important job for our community. Changing lanes or slowing down to give them a little space is a simple courtesy that could save a life.”
More information about the law is available at moveovertennessee.org. Bumper stickers are available to help your co-op spread the word about the law. Co-ops can use discount code “moveoverco-ops” when ordering bumper stickers for their fleet.