Move Over Law
Legislation signed by Governor Bill Haslam on April 5, 2011 expands Tennessee’s Move Over law to include electric and other utility vehicles. Police, fire, and highway construction vehicles were already covered before the law’s expansion; however, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and its member cooperatives recognized the need to include electric and other utility vehicles.
Effective July 1, 2011, motorists approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights are required to move over if safe to do so, creating an empty lane buffer. When changing lanes is not possible, motorists must reduce speed.
Roadway crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the United States. The Tennessee Department of Safety reports that more than 100 highway and street construction workers are killed each year as a result of vehicle crashes or equipment accidents on the job. Another 20,00 are injured. The Tennessee law is the first of its kind in the country. North Carolina’s Move Over law includes utility workers but only during emergency situations such as storm restoration. Tennessee’s law applies anytime utility vehicles are working with flashing lights. Additional information on the expansion can be found at the Move Over Tennessee website.