The National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15 to remind motorists to be careful around those men and women whose jobs put them along the roadways and into harm’s way. But not all work zones are for road repair. Kankakee Valley REMC notes utility crews also work along the roadsides to build, repair, and maintain the highway of electric power lines. Sometimes, crews can be around the next corner or just over the hill- day or night.
“While routine line work is done during daylight hours, emergencies happen at any time,” stated Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for Kankakee Valley REMC. “We want to remind motorists our crews can be out working at all hours. Please be careful when you see warning signs and flaggers.
Motorists should slow down and prepare for the zone ahead when they see the orange diamond-shaped work zone warning signs and vehicles with flashing amber lights.
Indiana law requires motorists to approach cautiously and change lanes away from the emergency vehicles if they can do so safely. If not, they should reduce their speed to 10 mph under the posted speed limit and proceed with caution. Motorists should not stop in the roadway; this may cause a chain reaction rear-end collision with other vehicles.
Emergency vehicles protected by the law include:
- Police vehicles
- Fire trucks and rescue equipment
- Highway incident-response vehicles
- Highway maintenance vehicles
- Utility service vehicles
- Tow trucks
Though move-over laws are for emergency vehicles, Kankakee Valley REMC asks drivers to be courteous to anyone parked on the shoulder and give them room to repair their vehicles safely.
“Working on energized power lines at all hours and in all kinds of weather is dangerous enough for lineworkers,” stated Steeb. “We ask folks not to make it more dangerous by speeding so closely by them.”
Kankakee Valley REMC, located in Wanatah, Indiana, is an electric distribution cooperative serving 18,000 member-consumers in seven Northwest Indiana counties. For more information on Kankakee Valley REMC, visit kvremc.com.