We’re used to moving over on the road for police cars, firetrucks and ambulances, but we might not think about doing the same for utility vehicles. However, utility workers such as Kansas Gas Service field employees can be at risk when restoring service near roadways if cars don’t switch to another lane or slow down.
This is why we joined with other public utility companies to support expansion of the Move Over Law, which requires motorists to switch to a non-adjacent lane when approaching stationary utility vehicles with flashing lights. Motorists are also prohibited from passing another vehicle within 100 feet of stationary utility vehicles. The Kansas Legislature recently passed the law, which went into effect July 1, 2021.
The Move Over Law is a great step toward ensuring the safety of our employees, who work tirelessly to provide reliable service for our customers. Considering utility workers often work at night or in severe weather to restore service, this law will help prevent accidents that could put both employees and drivers at risk.
“Often, interests diverge during the legislative process, but all stakeholders were aligned behind enhancing worker safety in this legislation,” said Patrick Vogelsberg, Government Affairs manager for Kansas Gas Service. “We hope this law will remind motorists to slow down, make room and not take for granted the critical service our employees provide."
The law’s “move over” requirement only applies to four-lane roads or highways, but motorists on two-lane roads are required to slow down while passing a utility vehicle with flashing lights. Failing to “move over” could result in a $105 traffic violation fine.
We hope to raise awareness about these new requirements so that we can work together to keep our communities safe and provided with natural gas.