Cumming drivers should be aware of a new bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly, which expands the state’s “move-over” law to include utility workers. The measure is set to take effect this summer, according to Forsyth County News.
The “move-over” law is a Georgia statute passed in 2003 that requires vehicles to move over one lane when possible if police or emergency personnel and vehicles are on the side of the road. If a vehicle is unable to move over one lane, the driver must slow down.
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The new piece of legislation, known officially as House Bill 767, will add linemen, sewer and gas workers, and other utility personnel to the list of protected individuals. Now, Georgia drivers must either move over or slow down when such individuals are at work along the side of the road.
Drivers who violate this law can face a $250 fine for each offense.
According to the Georgia Department of Highway safety, vehicles on the side of the road, where emergency and utility personnel spend much of their time, are at a high risk of being struck by another vehicle.
H.B. 767 was passed on April 19 and will go into effect on July 1. The bill received significant support from members of both the public and private sectors in Cumming.
State representatives Geoff Duncan and Sheri Gilligan and state senator Michael Williams, all from Cumming, voted in favor of the bill.
The bill also had the support of Cumming-based energy company Sawnee. Sawnee’s vice president of operations, Chet Blackstork, says that H.B. 767 will protect its employees from being struck by passing vehicles.
“This new law will protect our employees, [who] are frequently working in traffic-heavy areas throughout our service area,” Blackstork said.
This law is a primarily precautionary measure; no utility workers have thus far been involved in auto accidents in Georgia.