TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WKBN) – More than a dozen citations were issued in two counties during a specialized effort aimed at keeping emergency responders and other roadside workers safe.
It was a targeted enforcement effort that troopers and road crews say is an important law to follow.
“We’ve had too many of our ODOT workers been struck. We’ve had too many of our people struck, OK? I’ve been hit myself,” one trooper said.
Troopers zeroed in on drivers who violated the state’s Move Over law.
Trooper: “It’s a law that you move over and you failed to do so, OK?”
Driver: “But there wasn’t an arrow.”
State law requires drivers to move over and slow down when there are flashing lights on the side of the road.
Trooper: “The reason why I stopped you is you went past that ODOT worker back there.”
Driver: “I know that, I know that.”
Trooper: “Didn’t move over.”
“It’s not just the law, it’s just the right thing to do,” said Sgt. Ray Santiago with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Santiago says 18 citations were issued last week during a combined six-hour specialized assignment. It took place over two days in active ODOT work zones on I-80 in Trumbull County and I-76 in Summit County.
More than half of the citations were issued to drivers in Trumbull County.
“Each one of those poses a significant risk and a possible tragedy that could have taken place. But what’s more important than the 18 citations issued during those six hours is the number zero. There was zero ODOT workers struck,” Santiago said.
ODOT spokesman Ray Marsch says so far this year, more than 80 ODOT workers, vehicles or pieces of equipment have been struck across Ohio. It’s an alarming number with construction season just starting to get underway.
“Please, we just ask all motorists as they head out this year and this construction season to move over and slow down to help keep our workers safe,” Marsch said.