Caltrans reinforces I-80 "Move Over" message

Signs installed along freeway to warn motorists
By: Journal Staff
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Interstate 80 motorists have a new sign to heed.

Caltrans workers were installing new “Move Over” signs Monday that are intended to help save lives and increase safety for motorists, highway workers, California Highway Patrol officers and other emergency personnel.

None were slated to be installed along Interstate 80 in the Auburn area. But three were being put up for motorists to see as they enter the state from Nevada and travel along the freeway in the Donner Summit area.

The most recent highway worker death near Auburn occurred in March 2012, when tow-truck driver Davey Robinson Jr., 30, of Citrus Heights was killed after being struck by a car after getting out of his vehicle just southwest of the Ophir Road off ramp.

“Every day highway workers put their lives in danger just by going to work,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “We’re asking motorists to slow down, watch out for highway workers and CHP, and safely move over a lane when they see flashing amber lights on Caltrans or other emergency vehicles.

Signs were scheduled to be installed Monday at the Gold Run onramp for east and westbound I-80, east of Colfax, and at the Donner on-ramps along I-80. Another is being installed at the California state line.

The new signs display the message “Move Over or Slow for Stopped Emergency and Maintenance Vehicles” and “Move Over or Slow When Amber Lights Flashing.”

In addition, more than 700 existing electronic highway message signs statewide will display “Move Over or Slow for Workers. It’s the Law.”

The Move Over law, which took effect in 2007, was amended in 2009 to add Caltrans vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights to the list of vehicles for which motorists must move over if safe to do so, or slow down.

Highway construction and maintenance work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Since the 1920s, 178 Caltrans employees have died while working.