Local News

Move-over law expands to utility crews

Posted January 17, 2011 6:18 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2011 7:38 p.m. EST

— Forty-eight people died in workplace accidents in North Carolina in 2010 – many from being struck by an object – according to the state Department of Labor.

It’s a scary thought for utility crews who work alongside moving traffic, but a state law that went into effect Dec. 1 is aimed at helping to protect them.

It’s an expansion to the state’s move-over law, which requires motorists to move their vehicle away from the lane closest to a parked emergency vehicle.

“Over the number of years, the more traffic that’s come to the area, the more danger it’s put our employees in,” said Brian Hunt, a supervisor of construction and maintenance for Duke Energy. “We had a near miss here in the last week or so.”

Many people are still unaware of the change.

The law also requires motorists to slow down on two-lane roads where there isn’t another lane to drive in. They should also be prepared to stop.

Anyone found violating the new law could be fined $250 plus court costs.

Some utility workers say they haven’t seen many tickets written yet but are glad to know that law enforcement officers now have the authority to do so.

“It was a great day for us utility workers,” Hunt said.