Lights designed to protect roadside workers at risk as many drivers are not aware of ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ law
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Darkness seems to set in so early every evening at this time of year! AAA Western and Central New York has provided each emergency roadside service technician in its Central and Western New York fleet operations with a Guardian Angel Safety Light to increase their visibility on darkened roads.
The individual lights strap onto the technician’s shoulder, wrist, or arm.
“We always try to think of any way possible to make our technicians safer at the roadside,” said CNY Fleet Operations Manager Todd Ingraham. “This way, we have a light on our technician that moves with them along with stationary lights on the trucks.”
Ensuring the technicians are visible is important to their safety when working roadside. In September, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released data that revealed drivers do not always comply with the “Slow Down, Move Over” law. Forty-two percent thought this behavior was somewhat or not dangerous at all to roadside emergency workers. This demonstrates that drivers may not realize how risky it is for those working or stranded along highways and roads close to moving traffic.
The Guardian Angel Safety Light is another measure to ensure the safety of roadside service technicians.
“All of our technicians have families,” Ingraham added. “We want to do everything in our power to ensure that they make it home to them every day.”
To protect these individuals, AAA and other traffic safety advocates have led the way in getting “Move Over” laws passed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Slow Down, Move Over” safeguards roadside workers, drivers with disabled vehicles, and others.
As a driver, you can help protect all emergency roadside workers with these five precautionary tips:
√ Always remain alert: Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving.
√ Watch the road: Look for situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility service vehicles or disabled vehicles are stopped on the side of the road.
√ Approach with caution: When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing on the side of a two-lane roadway, drivers should slow down to a speed that is safe and approach with caution unless otherwise directed by an emergency worker on the scene.
√ Move Over: On multi-lane roadways, slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle at the roadside and, if possible, move over into an adjacent lane.
√ Go Slow: If you are unable to switch lanes, slow to a speed that is safe and reasonable. Some states recommend slowing to a speed that is 10-20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.