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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
June 18, 2013
The electric lineman faces real danger every time he works on a power line. But thanks to the knowledge he gains through extensive training and experience, he can take control of the situation to protect himself.
One aspect of his safety he can not control, however, is the danger presented by the careless or inattentive driver.
Fortunately for the lineman and the public alike, the Mississippi Legislature has taken an important step toward protecting utility workers from traffic accidents.
First, a little background: In 2007 legislators passed a law to help protect law enforcement officers, firefighters and highway construction workers. The law required motorists to move at least one lane away or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road with lights flashing. Drivers could get ticketed for not complying.
This year, legislators passed a law to give electricity, water, gas and telecommunications workers and utility contractors the same protection while working from roadsides.
To warrant move-overs by drivers, utility service vehicles must be parked with flashing lights to warn oncoming traffic.
If changing lanes is not possible or unsafe, drivers should proceed with caution, slowing to a safe speed for the road conditions while keeping an eye out for workers.
When drivers comply, the “Move Over Law” will save lives.
Our electric linemen may be called out to repair a power line at any time of day or night, and in every kind of weather. Many times they work from a bucket truck on the side of a busy road, with cars zipping by in the dark of night.
The inconvenience of slowing down a bit is a small price to pay if it makes the difference in whether a worker returns home safely at the end of the day.
The “Move Over Law” is the most recent effort by the legislature, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and others to make Mississippi’s roads safer for everyone.
Electric power associations supported the passage of the “Move Over Law,” and we are grateful for the support from legislators and the governor.
Electric power associations have cautioned members in recent weeks about several scams concerning the payment of utility bills.
Some residents in Mississippi and other states have been contacted by phone or other means by scammers who ask for personal financial information, including their Social Security number. The caller instructs the victim to make a payment to what turns out to be a fake account number.
Please, never give out personal information over the phone, by email or text message. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your electric power association and you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up and report it to your electric power association.
Always ask utility employees for proper identification, and never let anyone into your home to check electrical wiring unless you requested the inspection yourself.
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The official publication of the ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATIONS of MISSISSIPPI