Road Construction Laws in Utah
Duties of Drivers with Respect to Highway Maintenance Workers and Vehicles
A driver of a vehicle must give the right-of-way to a vehicle or pedestrian that is authorized for and engaged in highway construction or maintenance on the road. Construction or maintenance areas should be marked by signs and traffic control devices. A construction vehicle should be marked as such and designated with lights for safety and visibility.
A driver on the road approaching a maintenance vehicle that is flashing yellow or amber lights should slow down and provide as much space as is possible and safe for the maintenance vehicle. In all cases, however, the maintenance vehicle has the responsibility to drive with regard to the safety of all other vehicles and people on the road.
A person or driver must not willfully refuse to follow any direction of a worker/flagger at a highway construction area that is designated to control the flow of traffic.
Duties of Contractors
If there is a hazard on a public highway, created by construction, the contractor must place barricades, lights, and signs to warn drivers on the road. There is no hard and fast rule about sufficient warning, but the contractor is simply required to make “ample and timely warning.” There is no liability for the contractor for any damage that results from a vehicle that runs into construction or into a warning sign that was clearly visible.
In the case that a contractor must detour traffic from one road onto another, the contractor is not responsible for any damages caused by defects in the road used for the detour. Any road open for the public is presumed to be safe and may be used.
Laws Regarding Animals on Roadway
Any transportation by an animal is subject to the same traffic codes as other vehicles. A person riding an animal in the road or riding in a cart or carriage pulled by any animal must follow the Utah traffic code.
Livestock must use a livestock road instead of a public road, as long as it is available and can be used without any undue inconvenience.
Any person in control of any livestock cannot allow “livestock to stray or remain unaccompanied on a highway, if both sides of the highway are separated from adjoining property by a fence, wall, hedge, etc.” This does not prohibit livestock drifting onto a highway while moving from or to accustomed ranges.
Livestock must not be herded on a public road during the period half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, unless there are plenty of herders with warning lights for traffic, to allow the passage of vehicles on the open road.
Presumption of Negligence
There is no presumption of negligence on the owner of the livestock in civil action cases involving accidents with animals on the highway. The burden is on the plaintiff to show acts of negligence on the part of the defendant or owner of the livestock.
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