JEFFERSON CITY - Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28, Missourians will notice new signs reminding motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles parked on the shoulder. The top of the sign will feature black letters on a yellow background, drawing attention to the message and aligning Missouri's sign design with those of other states.
Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation to expand the 2002 "Slow Down and Move Over" law which protects law enforcement and now includes MoDOT vehicles parked with amber and white lights flashing.
"About 2,400 MoDOT employees work on Missouri highways every day, often in high-volume traffic," said MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright. "Their number-one priority is to work safely. We appreciate every effort to help get them home safely every day."
The new law also includes certain MoDOT vehicles in the legal definition of emergency vehicles. Now, when responding to an emergency, MoDOT Motorist Assist or Emergency Response vehicle operators can display red lights and use a siren. They will do so only to alert motorists stopped in an emergency traffic queue to yield the right-of-way.
"MoDOT provides traffic management around incidents," said MoDOT State Traffic and Highway Safety Engineer Eileen Rackers. "It is important that our folks get to the scene so emergency responders can work more quickly and normal traffic flow can be restored."