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Know the basics of North Carolina’s Move Over law

On Behalf of O’Malley Tunstall PLLC | Jul 25, 2018 | Firm News

Have you ever been driving along and witnessed motorists whizzing by an emergency vehicle on the side of the road without slowing down or moving over? If you are a law enforcement, emergency or utility employee, you may have felt the blast of air from a passing car or truck while you are just doing your job.

When drivers do not slow down or move over, it creates very dangerous working conditions. Like many states, North Carolina has a Move Over law to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and utility workers that are on road shoulders. Do you know what the law requires of you?

Move Over Law Requirements

If you see a law enforcement, emergency or utility vehicle on the side of the road with flashing amber-colored lights, you should slow down and proceed with caution. The Move Over law’s requirements include:

  • Motorists must move over for law enforcement or emergency vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road.
  • Motorists must move over for utility vehicles when workers are performing services such as reconnecting electrical lines on the side of the road.
  • If you are on a multilane highway and it is safe to do so, you must slow down and move over to put one lane between yourself and the vehicle and workers on the roadside.

Unfortunately, not all drivers follow traffic laws as closely as they should, which puts workers and other motorists in danger. While there are fines and other penalties in place for drivers that ignore the Move Over law, people still seem to forget that they have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner.

Be a part of the solution, and move over whenever possible for anyone who is stopped on the side of the road. It just makes safety sense.