North Carolina’s Move Over law, G.S. 20-157 (f), protects law enforcement officers as well as emergency and utility workers stopped alongside our highways.
Motorists must pull into a lane that is not the lane nearest the parked or standing authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle and continue traveling in that lane until safely clear of the authorized emergency vehicle. This applies when the roadway has at least two lanes for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle and if the approaching vehicle may change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
If the roadway has only one lane for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle, then you must slow the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions and be prepared to stop until completely past the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle. “Public service vehicle” means a vehicle that:
- is being used to assist motorists or law enforcement officers with wrecked or disabled vehicles,
- is being used to install, maintain, or restore utility service, including electric, cable, telephone, communications, and gas,
- is being used in the collection of refuse, solid waste, or recycling, or is a highway maintenance vehicle owned and operated by or contracted by the State or a local government. The vehicle must be operating an amber-colored flashing light. A violation of the move over law will result in a mandatory fine of $250.00 plus court costs.
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