Gov. Evers signs roadside response worker safety bill into law

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers made a stop at Visit Eau Claire on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 to...
m.(Jeff Ralph / WEAU)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 12:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers signed an Assembly bill into law Monday that strengthens safety precautions for response workers on Wisconsin roadways.

Assembly Bill 297, which is now Wisconsin Act 115, defines an “emergency or roadside response area” as a portion of a road within 500 feet of an authorized emergency vehicle, which must give a visible signal, or a tow truck that has flashing red lights.

Gov. Evers noted the bill is critical in keeping workers safe.

“Distracted or negligent driving is dangerous and can even be deadly,” said Gov. Evers. “This bill is a critical step in ensuring the safety of workers on our roads, whether they’re emergency and first responders, construction and utility workers, or tow truck drivers.”

He added, “I’m glad to sign this bill that will help make sure folks can do their jobs and respond to emergencies while keeping workers and travelers safe on our roads.”

The law also creates a new crime and penalty for traffic violations that result in bodily harm, if the violation happens in a construction, utility work or emergency response area. The existing measure of doubling fines for certain violations in road construction or utility work areas to an emergency response area also applies.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation must also conduct a campaign for the act to make the public aware of the new rules, Gov. Evers added.

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