Move Over for PRECO Crews

Posted: July 1, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Give our linemen enough space to do their jobs safely

Most everyone is familiar with these rules of the road: don’t text, don’t drink and don’t speed. At PRECO, we want all drivers to learn about another law that isn’t as widely known. It’s named the Move Over Act. This law, passed to protect police and emergency workers on the side of the road, was amended in 2014 to include sanitation and utility workers.

“Florida’s Move Over Law helps keep our line workers and other field personnel safe and alive,” explains Daniel Moore, PRECO coordinator of loss control and facilities. “We want our employees to return unhurt to their homes and families each night.”

You’ll find PRECO linemen working day and night, regardless of weather conditions, practically 365 days a year. And, since utility poles are most often located on the roadside, line crews frequently are working within a few feet of city streets and rural roads.

“Many times, drivers approach too fast and too close to our workers,” explains Daniel. “Think about your own job. How secure would you feel if cars zoomed by within six feet of your desk or workstation throughout your workday?”

Just one driving mistake can lead to catastrophe. In 2018, this became a painful reality for the families of three linemen working to restore power in Chipley, Fla., in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. James Ussery, 60, of Chipley, was working alongside George Cecil, 52, and Ryan Barrett, 22, both from North Carolina, when they were struck and killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver.

“Ussery, a lineman for West Florida Electric Cooperative, was joined by two out-of-state workers who had answered the call to help rebuild after this terrific storm,” says Daniel. “Sadly, none of them returned home to their families.”

“We’re asking for your help. When you see crews on the side of the road, please move over if possible and give them extra room to work. If you can’t move over, slow down. Working on power lines can be dangerous, but we have practices in place to keep our guys safe.  When drivers don’t obey the Move Over Law they are adding an element that we can’t control and making a lineworker’s job even more dangerous.”

Please help keep our police, first responders and utility workers safe.

Move Over Law Requirements

Florida’s Move Over Law requires vehicles to change lanes or slow down when approaching police cars, ambulances, sanitation vehicles, tow trucks—and utility service trucks. Obeying the law protects our first responders and helps them return home safely to their families.

  • When approaching workers and vehicles, move over a lane to give them more room
  • If you can’t move over—such as on a two-lane road—slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit
  • If the speed limit is 20 mph or less, slow down to 5 mph