Dear Street Smarts,
Q: You may have already addressed this issue in your column, but was wondering if the construction zone rules apply only when workers are present.
Thanks for your help,
Shirley Heitschel, Aptos
A: Yes, the “Slow Down, Move Over” law still applies in construction zones when workers are not present, according to Caltrans.
“It applies whether construction is currently active or not because those conditions exist independent of work underway or not,” said Susana Cruz, spokesperson for the agency.
Along with Cruz, Officer Sarah Jackson, spokesperson for the CHP’s Aptos office, advised drivers to obey all construction-related signs in the area whether workers are there or not. Specifically, Jackson noted the 55 mph sign along Highway 1 near Morrissey Boulevard.
She cited California Vehicle Code section 22362, which states that, “It is prima facie a violation of the basic speed law for any person to operate a vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit upon any portion of a highway where officers or employees of the agency having jurisdiction of the same, or any contractor of the agency or his employees, are at work on the roadway or within the right-of-way so close thereto as to be endangered by passing traffic. This section applies only when appropriate signs, indicating the limits of the restricted zone, and the speed limit applicable therein, are placed by such agency within 400 feet of each end of such zone. The signs shall display the figures indicating the applicable limit, which shall not be less than 25 miles per hour, and shall indicate the purpose of the speed restriction. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve any operator of a vehicle from complying with the basic speed law.”