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'Move Over' law expands to protect MoDOT vehicles

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 | 5:32 p.m. CDT; updated 1:26 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 30, 2012

*CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect when legislation requiring Missouri drivers to move over for law enforcement vehicles was signed.

JEFFERSON CITY — On Tuesday along Missouri highways, crews began installing new signs warning drivers to slow down and move over for emergency and maintenance vehicles parked on the shoulder.

Missouri's signs, like those in other states, will use black lettering on a yellow background to draw attention to their message. Approximately 120 signs will be installed on Missouri highways by the end of the year, said Tim Chojnacki, a Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance liaison engineer.

"A lot of our employees work on the side of the road; it’s pretty dangerous working close to traffic," Chojnacki said.

The increase in the number of signs comes as part of an expansion of the "Slow Down and Move Over" law, which took effect Tuesday, according to a news release from MoDOT.

*The original legislation was signed in 2002, but it only protected law enforcement vehicles; Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill that expanded the law.

MoDOT maintenance vehicles have flashing amber and white lights. MoDOT vehicles responding to an emergency display red lights and use a siren to alert motorists to yield the right-of-way.

About 2,400 MoDOT employees work on highways every day, according to the news release. Chojnacki believes these signs will make those workers safer.

"The signs will just make the motorists aware of the change in the law because those motorists are aware that MoDOT folks are included in the law," Chojnacki said.

Supervising editor is Jacob Kirn.


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