Del. Considering Expanding "Move Over" Law to Include Utility Wo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Considering Expanding "Move Over" Law to Include Utility Workers

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Even more to move over for - Delaware lawmakers are looking at expanding the state's "Move Over" Law.

Delaware has had a "Move Over" law since 2007. It requires drivers to move a lane over - if possible - when there are emergency personnel, tow trucks or transportation workers on the side of road.

A bill under consideration in Dover would add utility workers to the state's "Move Over" law list.

Jim Maier is showing us how he sets up his truck along the side of road near Seaford. Maier has been a lineman for Delaware Electric Co-op for a decade.

"It can be very dangerous just setting up before you even do the job," he said.

Maier is supportive of the bill. So is his employer.

"I think it would be a great idea," said Maier. "We're on the roadways a lot. If people would get over, it would be a lot safer for us to do our job."

But lots of people don't even know the current "Move Over" law exists. Maier didn't.

"I would get over out of courtesy, but I didn't know the actual law," he said. "Basically until you told me about the law on the books."

The bill's sponsor state Rep. Bobby Outten, R-Harrington, says that just means the effort to educate drivers needs to continue, not that the law shouldn't be expanded, because utility workers deserve to be safe.

"They're out there on the road probably more than emergency vehicles," Rep. Outten said.

WBOC went to the bp gas station in Bridgeville to talk to drivers. They think utility workers should be a part of the "Move Over" Law.

"I would support it, because you never know when somebody is going to streak out into the road," said Greg Scott.

"They're just as valuable - human lives. I think it's important for them to have as much access as possible," Garnet Omarrow said.

Violating Delaware's "Move Over" law could get you a $25 fine. Violating it and hitting and injuring someone is a low-level felony.

In Maryland and Virginia, drivers must move over at least one lane and slow down for all emergency vehicles. In October Maryland law added tow trucks to the definition of "emergency vehicles." In Virginia the law is defined as having to move over for any vehicle that displays a "flashing, blinking, or alternating blue, red or amber light."

Every state has some sort of variation to the move over law. Washington, D.C., however, has no law in place.

The Delaware utility worker bill passed out of a House committee Wednesday afternoon and now heads to the full House.

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