Utility crews, emergency responders, police, fire personnel, and construction workers risk their lives every day in an effort to assist the residents of Indiana. With each road construction site, traffic stop and roadside response, these men and women place their own personal safety on the line.
In recent years, Indiana and Federal legislators have added safeguards designed to reduce that risk. These safety measures include a requirement for drivers to reduce their speed, change lanes whenever possible, and always yield the right-of-way to personnel responding to an emergency and requiring personnel at the roadside to wear reflective gear.
Because keeping emergency workers safe is everyone’s responsibility, law makers have added additional wording to the Indiana Code to clarify a driver’s responsibility when approaching construction or emergency personnel.
Effective July 1, 2010, SECTION 1. IC 9-21-8-35, will now require that all Indiana drivers reduce their speed by at least 10 miles per hour in the following situations:
• When approaching an authorized emergency vehicle
• When the authorized emergency vehicle’s siren or lights are active
• When approaching a stationary recovery vehicle • When approaching a stationary utility service vehicle • When approaching a stationary road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle • When any vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing amber lights
Unfortunately, too many drivers ignore these rules, increasing the risk of harm to those at the side of the road. As Indiana personal injury attorneys, we will continue to fight for the rights of those injured by careless drivers. We have previously addressed the safety concerns for responders and will continue to follow this issue as the new language takes effect in July.