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May
2016
13

GA Becomes 4th State to Implement “Move Over” Law for Utility Workers; IBEW Applauds Move

Safety, it's not just for cops anymore!

Safety, it’s not just for cops anymore!


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Georgia has become the 4th state to pass legislation requiring drivers to slow down and “move over” when utility workers are performing their duties on the side of the road. They join Tennessee, North Carolina, and Indiana in enacting such laws.

HB 767, known as the “Move Over for Linemen Law,” was passed with near unanimous support in the state House and Senate.  In short, the law puts utility vehicles under the “Move Over” law umbrella that was previously limited to stationary law-enforcement vehicles, ambulances, wreckers and garbage trucks.

The bill requires any motorist approaching utility linemen at an active work site – indicated by traffic cones or flashing yellow, amber, white, or red lights – to change lanes or reduce speed to a “reasonable and proper velocity below the posted limit.”  Those who violate the law can face a $250 fine per incident.  HB 767 takes effect on July 1, 2016.  

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, said:

“We are honored to unite with Governor Deal and our other utility partners to recognize the work of line crews in communities throughout Georgia.  Safety is our top priority in everything we do, and we would like to thank the Governor and the members of the legislature for passing this important legislation that will keep our workers safe in the field.”

Video of Gov. Deal celebrating HB 767’s passage was uploaded to YouTube by Georgia Power.

The signing of the bill was part of Georgia’s “Lineman Appreciation Month.” In a statement, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 84 Business Manager, Larry Rooks, said:

Adding utility workers to Georgia’s move over law is an important recognition of the dangerous nature of the work our men and women do out there on the roads every day.  Our members work in the dark and in the rain and ice, and it’s important that drivers give these guys room to do their jobs. We appreciate the legislature making this change and recognizing the value of the work we do.”

In April of 2015 three Georgia linemen were killed when a car veered off the road and stuck them while they were performing work installing new electrical poles.  IBEW Director of Safety, David Mullen, said of the incident:

“This kind of tragedy is never 100 percent preventable, but taking steps to get drivers to slow down and give room to work crews is just common sense. It’s the kind of easy change that we hope will be made in every state and provincial capital in the U.S. and Canada.”   

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