(WHBC) – As road construction season gets underway, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to obey the state’s Move Over law.

The law requires drivers to move over to an adjacent lane when approaching any stationary public safety vehicle, emergency vehicle, road service or highway maintenance vehicle on the side of the road with flashing or rotating lights.

If moving over isn’t possible due to traffic or weather conditions, or because a second lane doesn’t exist, drivers should slow down and proceed with caution.

OSHP Lieutenant Leo T. Shirkey, with the Canton Post, stresses the importance of that last part.

He says that nasty crash (pictured below) on Interstate 77 between Shuffel and Portage on February 14th that injured a trooper and others was caused by a driver who came to a stop on the interstate as they were coming up on a crash that a trooper was investigating.

“You don’t stop in the roadway…that causes accidents. Slow down and cautiously go by us if you can’t move over.”

He says their cruisers are hit way too often by people who aren’t obeying the Move Over law.

“It’s happening a lot. From 2014 to 2018, 56 of our patrol car have been struck, injuring 50 officers.”

In 2018, troopers wrote 6,039 citations for violating the Move Over law, 59 percent more than in 2017.

He says every move over crash is preventable, so moving over isn’t just the law, it’s the right thing to do.

Ohio State Highway Patrol