Postal inspectors remind drivers to move over for mail truck drivers
Vehicles with flashing red, blue and amber colored lights are covered under the Move Over Law, which include mail delivery trucks
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With Christmas less than two weeks away, postal workers are working around the clock delivering packages well after dark.
That is why the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is warning drivers about the state law that says you should move over if you see a mail carrier stopped on the side of the road.
The law applies to any vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing red, blue, or amber-colored lights.
Michael Romano with the USPIS says that while drivers are familiar with moving over for police, fire trucks, and ambulances, mail carriers are also covered under the law as well for the same reason.
“In this case, the postal service has amber flashing vehicles on the back of their postal carrier vehicles,” Romano said.
The USPIS is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service and protects the employees, infrastructure, and customers by enforcing the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use.
According to USPS, postal workers are estimated to process up to 60 million packages each day during the 2022 holiday season. Carriers are delivering earlier and staying out later when it’s darker to make sure your gifts make it to your front door.
“Our mail carriers are out on a lot of highways, they’re out on a lot of rural roads at night and you’ll often see them pulling into the mailbox and pulling out to keep the delivery expedited,” Romano said.
With more incidents involving mail trucks expected to happen during this time of year, Romano says the USPIS wants drivers to help make sure postal workers can do their job safely.
“They’ll have the flashers on in the rear, and if you see that, give them a little extra room to move over so that they can continue on their route safely,” Romano said.
Specifically, Virginia’s Move Over law requires drivers to change lanes away from stopped vehicles that are flashing lights. If a driver is unable to cross lanes safely in order to give the stopped vehicle space, they must slow down when approaching the vehicle in question.
Violating the law is a class 1 misdemeanor and could include a year of jail time or a $2,500 fine.
“The job being in neighborhoods and being out after dark, there’s a little bit more risk involved there than there would be say during the day. Visibility is lower, things are darker. Again, some of the roads they’re on are not the best-marked roads, so we’re just asking for everyone to give them that little extra space that they’re going to need to complete their deliveries during this busy holiday season,” Romano said.
Romano says if you see something suspicious around a delivery driver or the packages they dropped off, you’re asked to make a call to the police and then follow up that call by contacting the USPIS at 1-877-876-2455.
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