The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has started a campaign to increase awareness about the state’s Move Over Law. It’s in response to a jump in the number of accidents involving troopers.
The Move a Little/Save a Lot campaign is centered around both education and enforcement of the law.
According to the Highway Patrol, patrol vehicles were struck on six occasions since June and troopers had to be taken to hospital with a variety of injuries.
Officers reported that in five of the six crashes, a failure to move over played a role.
Over the past five years, 15 state patrol vehicles have been struck as a result of move over violations.
Commander of the State Highway Patrol Colonel Glenn McNeill, Jr. said the law was enacted almost 18 years ago to protect public servants while they perform their duties.
When it was passed in 2002, the law required motorists to slow down or change lanes when passing an emergency vehicle with flashing lights. It was updated ten years later to include public service vehicles.
This refers to any vehicle being used to assist law enforcement officers or motorists with disabled or wrecked vehicles. Vehicles being used by the utility services are also included.
Drivers who are using a four-lane highway must move into a lane that is not nearest to the authorized vehicle and continue in that lane until they are safely away from the other vehicle.
Failure to do so could result in a $250 fine along with court costs. Drivers can also face misdemeanor charges if they cause injury or property damage greater than $500 in the immediate vicinity of a stopped emergency vehicle or public service vehicle.
If the accident results in serious injury or death, the charge will be a Class F felony.
If you suffer injuries because a driver is breaking the law, you may be entitled to compensation via a civil lawsuit. A North Carolina car accident lawyer can help you.