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Wadsworth council passes ordinance in line with state's 'Move Over' law

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WADSWORTH — City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday to amend the city’s codified ordinances to match the state’s Move Over Law.

“It is always important, in my opinion, for our local ordinances to mirror in (the area of traffic) state statutes,” Safety Director Matt Hiscock said immediately following the meeting.

“I think it is healthy from an enforcement perspective. It makes the laws more consistent throughout the state.” 

According the Ohio Revised Code, the law requires all drivers when driving on a highway with multiple lanes in the same direction to move over one lane when approaching flashing and/or rotating lights parked on the side of the road.

If a lane change is not possible, drivers are required to slow down. 

Hiscock said the issue was initially raised by Wadsworth police Chief Randall Reinke.

“Chief Reinke was actually the one who initiated the discussions of bringing that to Council,” Hiscock said. 

The law originally took effect in 1999 in an effort to reduce collisions involving law enforcement officers, firefighters and highway workers. 

According to data from the Ohio Department of Transportation, one tow truck worker is killed every six days, 23 highway workers and one law enforcement officer are killed every month and six firefighters are killed annually on average. 

Hiscock said adjustments to the state statute dealt with “what I could call additional vehicles under the definition” as well as some language changes.

Hiscock said drivers expect traffic laws to remain uniform as they move through multiple jurisdictions and this change will take care of that in Wadsworth. 

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330)-721-4050 or nhavenner@medina-gazette.com
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