Local News

Easley Signs 'Move Over' Bill Into Law

Posted July 14, 2005
Updated June 27, 2014

— North Carolina drivers now have to give emergency vehicles a little extra space.

Gov. Mike Easley signed an amendment on Thursday to the Move Over law, which puts into effect stiffer penalties for drivers who do not move when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

"On the approach, and seeing the emergency lights, the driver would signal and move over to the lane farthest away," said Lt. Everett Clendenin, of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

On a two-lane road where drivers cannot move over, they must slow down.

The Highway Patrol says that since the law was enacted in 2002, 71 drivers pulled over on the side of the road were struck, 33 were injured and two were killed.

"It's an indicator people have not taken the law seriously enough," Clendenin said.

Under the 2002 law, drivers who did not move over faced a $25 fine, plus court costs. The law going into effect in 2006 increases the fine to $250 and court costs, as well as misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on damage and injury.

Troopers hope the tougher law means more people will move over when someone gets pulled over.

"It's always been a courtesy, now it's the law," Clendenin said.

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