Iowa drivers are quick to move over for flashing red and blue lights on vehicles such as police cars, firetrucks or ambulances. Now they also need to be on the lookout for flashing amber lights on garbage, tow, and bucket trucks, and all other utility vehicles.
Effective July 1, Iowa law requires motorists to change lanes or slow down when approaching stationary utility and maintenance vehicles with flashing lights activated. Across the country, all states have“move over” laws, but only 12 states specifically protect utility service vehicles.
This expanded law is designed to protect motorists and Iowa’s utility workers who are at high risk while performing their duties on Iowa’s roadways. Motorists can face penalties for violating the law, such as receiving traffic tickets or having their driver’s license revoked.
The utilities of Iowa have united in a public awareness effort to educate drivers of the Move Over or Slow Down law as it pertains to utility vehicles, including Alliant Energy, the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, ITC Midwest and MidAmerican Energy. To raise awareness for the campaign, they are asking Iowa motorists to sign a pledge at www.MoveOverIowa.com vowing to move over or slow down when approaching stationary emergency maintenance, or utility vehicles that have activated flashing lights.
Governor Kim Reynolds supports this awareness effort. She took time during a recent visit to MiEnergy Cooperative in north central Iowa to learn more.
“The Move Over or Slow Down campaign reminds drivers to be cautious when approaching utility vehicles,” Gov. Reynolds said. “It might seem like common sense, but many drivers don’t know about the penalties they could face for failing to obey the law. More importantly though, many drivers don’t realize the danger that passing utility areas without moving over or slowing down causes for both utility workers and themselves.”
For more information about the campaign or to take the pledge, please visit www.moveoveriowa.com.