The move-over law: protecting personnel while working

APRR Group

The latest part of the APRR group’s “You already know it” campaign, featuring the move-over law, was launched this week. This provision, which was recently added to the French Highway Code, provides greater protection for personnel working on roads and motorways.

Alexandre Claude, director of the AREA network, explains this essential provision. “Its main purpose is to protect personnel while they are working. The move-over law is a protocol to ensure the safety of workers, whether they are our employees, police officers, the state police, emergency services or breakdown services. This provision has now been added to the Highway Code - every motorist has to know about it. More than 600,000 service interventions are carried out across the motorway network every year, and over 700 accidents were caused between 2015 and 2019 by people who did not respect this safety protocol and entered the buffer zone. By respecting this buffer zone you are acting for the safety of the people working there.”
Keeping a safe distance from personnel working on the roadside
Bernard Giez, roadside assistance agent on the AREA network, experiences such risks every day. “The move-over law is very important, we experience it on a daily basis. We’re always at risk while working on the roadside. It’s also really important to keep a safe distance from a van. We’ve had vehicles nearly touch us on a number of occasions and even though we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the traffic, it’s just not enough! Safety is also about everyone keeping their distance from us. This protocol is everyone’s responsibility and it’s particularly important to respect it.”
This provision is pure common sense. “As soon as you see a service vehicle,” Alexandre Claude explains, “you have to move over, and try to leave a lane between where you’re driving and where the personnel are working.” Claire Dufossé, safety and signalling expert at APRR, provides further information on the procedure to follow to respect the move-over law. “When approaching an incident zone, you need to slow down and move as far away as possible from the personnel working at the site. Taking the general context into consideration all the while. Our personnel may be working on the emergency lane or on the right lane or the left lane. That’s why the entire context needs to be considered, by thinking of your manoeuvre in advance, understanding where the personnel are working and moving as far away as possible so that they can work in total safety.”
The APRR group’s communication campaign is displayed in its service areas and on its variable message signs. It is also featured on the Autoroute INFO airwaves (107.7), the APRR social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and the Waze app.
More information on the website:
The move-over provision explained in 40 seconds with the ASFA (Association of French Motorway Companies)