A new version of the state’s Move Over law goes into effect Monday, Oct. 1, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down to avoid roadside utility and maintenance crews bearing flashing amber lights.
The General Assembly voted in June 2012 to include utility and road maintenance operations displaying amber lights – including some N.C. Department of Transportation work sites – on the list of situations where drivers legally are required to steer clear to help prevent accidents.
The state established move-over requirements for drivers in 2001. The law previously covered emergency responders, law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and Incident Management Assistance Patrols operated by the NCDOT.
Drivers are specifically instructed to move over at least one lane when 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. Drivers who fail to follow the Move Over law may be fined $250 plus court costs.
Forty-seven states have enacted similar statutes requiring drivers to slow down and, if possible, change lanes to avoid police cars, emergency responders and other types of official vehicles stopped on the side of the road.