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Slow for the amber lights
You may have heard Caltrans' slogan, "Slow for the Cone Zone." Come Jan. 1, a new law will go into effect that will require motorists to reduce their speed when state transportation workers have their amber warning lights on atop their vehicles flashing. That new law was among hundreds of bills the governor signed last week. When it takes effect, motorists will have to slow down and, if safe, move into a lane that’s farther away from Caltrans vehicles parked on the side of the road with their amber light on. “This protects the safety of our workers,” said Randy Iwasaki, Caltrans director. “We appreciate the leadership and recognition of the legislature and governor for the need to provide a safer working environment for our employees.” Since 1924, 174 Caltrans workers have lost their lives in the line of duty. The most recent was this past July, when Don Lichliter was struck and killed by a passing truck while he and a co-worker applied fertilizer to eucalyptus trees along Highway 99 in Lodi. In the 1960s, a Caltrans worker in Santa Cruz County was struck and killed on Highway 1 near Rodeo Gulch. Once in effect, violating the new law would earn the traffic offender a fine of not more than $50. Forty-five other states have similar laws on the books, Iwasaki said.
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