North Carolina's Move Over Law has been broadened and many hope that means good news for the people that have to be out on the state’s roads.
A new version of the law, adopted in June by the North Carolina General Assembly, now requires motorists to change lanes or slow down as they approach utility and maintenance crews or any other vehicle, such a tow trucks, with flashing amber lights. The law went into effect last week.
The original law was passed more than a decade ago and only specifically included police, fire and emergency medical services vehicles. The law was originally passed after a series of accidents involving vehicles pulled over to the side of the road. Sadly, the law was not totally successful given that similar accidents still occur with regularity. Just this past week, a passing motorist hit a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police car early in the morning on I-85.
Those behind the recent push hope that the new measures will make the roadways a bit safer for construction crews, surveyors and tow truck drivers who were without such legal protection before. The law requires motorists to move over at least one lane if two or more lanes are available in each direction. On roads with only one traffic lane in each direction, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop. Breaking the law carries a $250 fine plus court costs.
North Carolina Injury Lawyer’s Perspective
Police and emergency work is dangerous enough, and the public services these dedicated professionals provide are invaluable. They should not have to take their lives in their hands every time they step outside their vehicles along the roadside. Those who work on the roadside, including North Carolina surveyors, two truck drivers and others should also be entitled to a safe place to do their job. Hopefully the recently enacted law lives up to legislators’ expectations and saves lives as a result.
To learn about what types of damages are available through a personal injury claim, take a moment to read this article which discusses the possibility of obtaining damages to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.