11/21/2022 Sacramento – The young faces of the families of highway workers are reminding you to move over a lane or slow down for their loved ones who help keep our roads safe. The “Kids of Caltrans” provide the personal, impactful messages behind the new public awareness campaign from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), that kicked off today at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center.
Some of the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of Caltrans workers featured in the “Move Over” campaign were on hand for the kickoff event, which comes on the heels of last week’s National Crash Responder Safety Week. In video messages that will air throughout the state through January 2023, they ask drivers to be alert and move over a lane if safe to do so or slow down to safely pass highway workers.
Sadly, highway workers, law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and tow truck drivers are killed or injured along California’s roadways every year.
Moving over and slowing down when passing a vehicle stopped on the roadway with flashing lights in California isn’t just a matter of following the law—it is about saving lives. The “Move Over” law exists to provide a safer environment for maintenance and emergency vehicles stopped along roadsides close to fast-moving traffic.
In 2020, nearly 7,000 work-zone crashes occurred on California roadways, resulting in more than 3,000 injuries and nearly 100 fatalities. Nationally, drivers and passengers account for 85% of those killed in work zones.
Although all 50 states have enacted “Move Over” laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 71% of Americans are not aware of them. In California, failure to obey the “Move Over” law can result in fines up to $1,000, plus points on your driving record.
Since 1921, 191 Caltrans employees have been killed on the job, and one of the biggest hazards to them and anyone working on the roads is from motorists who do not exercise caution. Those 191 employees represent scores of families torn apart by preventable work zone collisions.