Raleigh, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Highway Patrol says eight of its members have been involved in collisions connected to “move over” offenses since June of this year.
The Move Over law protects state troopers and other law enforcement officers and emergency and utility workers stopped alongside our highways. Drivers must move one lane away from the emergency vehicle on a multi-lane highway or slow down on a two-lane highway and can do safely.
Sergeant Christopher Knox says the Highway Patrol does not track “move over” related collisions apart from other collisions, but says he’s noticed an increase in troopers being hit while on the side of the road.
“Why that is? I’m not sure, but there’s definitely been an increase in the number of our members being hit. Typically, they are on the side of the road conducting investigations or making vehicle stops,” said Sgt. Knox.
Drivers caught failing to move over could face significant penalties.
“It’s a $250 dollar fine plus court costs and then if there’s a collision involved that would be a misdemeanor and higher finds. If you were to be hurt or someone were to be killed, then it is now a felony charge,” Knox said.
In early September, a Raleigh police officer was seriously injured after an impaired driver hit his patrol vehicle on the side of I-87 near I-40. The officer had the patrol lights on when the collision happened.
“These are just people out there just trying to do their job. They’ve often responded to help someone and put themselves in harm’s way to help another person and we want to do everything that we can as a motorist to keep them safe,” Knox said.
North Carolina’s Move Over law went into effect in 2002.
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