WA Move Over Law expanding to include linemen - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA Move Over Law expanding to include linemen

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PASCO, WA - When we see flashing lights on the side of the road, we know to move over a lane or two and give police and emergency crews room to work. Starting this summer, the Washington State Move Over Law will be expanding.

In June, the Move Over Law will also require drivers to move over for linemen who may be working on things like power poles.

Stephen Frost is the Utility Safety Coordinator for Tri-Cities, and he says when you see a bright orange sign saying "utility ahead," move over or slow down.

"Our lineman deserve the same respect that emergency responders, police officers, firefighters, et cetera," said Frost.

Travis Scott is the director of operations for Franklin County PUD, and a former lineman worker himself. Scott says a lot of times in an emergency situation, like when workers have to respond to a power outage, lineman are too busy paying attention to the task at hand.  

"We are paying attention to the job at hand more than the traffic," Scott said.

This makes it difficult to pay attention to traffic; therefore, putting linemen's safety in jeopardy.

"With distracted driving and everything, we don't know what's going through their [the driver's] mind," said Scott. "We just want to get back home and get back to our homes and families, and do our job. We don't want to inconvenience anyone. We just want them to pay attention."

The Move Over Law expansion starts June 7. The message from all linemen is to make sure to move over for all utility vehicles, along with law enforcement or emergency responders. If there isn't a line to merge into, then just slow down.

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