Northeast Ohio is warming up thanks to rising temperatures and sunny skies, and that means orange barrel season is upon us.

State and local crews are working on busy highways, main streets and side roads replacing, repairing and patching. Those of us behind the wheel need to be mindful of traffic, pedestrians and road workers.

The Ohio Department of Transportation reported this month five incidents of drivers striking road crews in a span of just eight days. ODOT workers were injured in two of those crashes.

One incident involved a semi that slammed into the back of an ODOT truck hauling an arrow board in Crawford County. One ODOT employee was flown to a Columbus hospital for treatment. In a second incident, a state worker closing a ramp was struck by a motorist. He was treated for an arm injury. In Cleveland, a crew working on I-490 was hit by a vehicle, and on I-77 a semi clipped the front bumper of an ODOT truck.

Ohio has a Move Over Law enacted in 1999 and expanded in 2013 to apply to all stationary vehicles with flashing lights. That includes police cars, tow trucks, ambulances and road crews.

Keep your eyes on the road and be sure to change lanes to give safe clearance to working crews. Be cautious and move over.

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