MOTORISTS URGED TO 'MOVE OVER' FOR UTILITY WORKERS

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Last April, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a measure that extends an existing requirement for drivers to ‘move over’ one lane when emergency vehicles are in use to also include utility workers and vehicles. House Bill 767 adds protection for utility workers that are utilizing traffic cones or displaying flashing yellow, amber or red lights while engaged in work along Georgia roadways.

“We are sometimes working along the roadside in extreme weather conditions, so this law will help to ensure the safety of City of Thomasville Utilities crews and other utility crews in Georgia,” said Brent Alderman, Electric Operations Manager. “Unfortunately, repairs are performed both day and night, rain or shine. This law will allow our crews a measure of safety as they work to bring our customers back online during outages or other situations where maintenance is needed.”

House Bill 767 applies to not just electric crews, but also to natural gas, water, wastewater, cable, sanitation, telephone or telecommunications services. It also applies to scheduled maintenance and emergency maintenance and repairs.

“Working along busy roadways can be dangerous for utility crews,” said Wastewater Superintendent Chris Hayes. “It can be difficult to watch traffic when you are also performing repairs. Having coverage under the ‘move over’ law will provide a safer work environment for our crews.”

“Basically, if you see a utility crew along a roadside, it is best to move over one lane to maintain the safety of our crews,” said Alderman.

“Safety is our top priority in everything we do, so we’d like for more drivers in our community to be aware of House Bill 767 and how it applies to utility crews in Thomasville,” Hayes said. “While we are accustomed to moving over one lane when we see emergency vehicles like police cars, fire trucks or ambulances; many may not be aware the same law now applies to our utility vehicles and crews as well.”

“We are very appreciative to the Governor and the members of the legislation that are working to keep our crews safe in the field,” Alderman said.