For the most part, drivers have a good grasp on most of the traffic laws they must obey while they drive. What are some of the rules when a driver approaches a roadway not under normal conditions, however? KSA 8-1531 is a statute which laws out some general rules for drivers as they approach road construction zones. Primarily, drivers must yield the right of way to any vehicle or pedestrian actually engaged or seemingly engaged in the road construction. While most drivers seem to understand this is the general rule, it seems some drivers may not given their actions while driving in a road construction zone.
Per this statute, if possible, drivers must also move over to the far lane so they are not adjacent to the road construction as they pass. The difficulty, I believe, in prosecuting this aspect of the statute is determining if the drive intentionally did not move lanes or simply did not move as the road construction approached too fast. While this statute does not seem to have an “intent” aspect that a prosecutor would need to obtain a conviction, it seems that the irregularity of road construction zones might permit the Court to insert some discretion.
For the defense, I believe one could provide a defense that might fall into the last aspect of this statute. If a driver is not able to move lanes or may not be able to move in time, the Court may not find them guilty as long as the driver reduces their speed and passes with caution. While most of us probably would apply these rules out of common sense, it is important to understand the general rules for road construction as the fines or punishments for obtaining a violation in a road construction zone are generally more severe.
Until next time, drive safe!