NC Highway Patrol reminds drivers to look out for emergency vehi - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NC Highway Patrol reminds drivers to look out for emergency vehicles

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have died since 1999 from being hit by vehicles on America's highways, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is reminding all drivers to be aware of emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the highway or interstate.

To date, 43 states have enacted Move Over laws to help better protect our law enforcement and first responders.

North Carolina is not immune to these deaths and injuries.

Since the Patrol's inception, two troopers have been hit and killed and many others have been injured while conducting traffic stops.

In 2002, North Carolina implemented the Move Over law, but many drivers are not familiar with it.

According to a national poll by Mason Dixon Polling & Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission:

  • 71 % of Americans have not heard of "Move Over" laws
  • 86 % support enacting "Move Over" laws in all 50 states; and
  • 90 % believe traffic stops and roadside emergencies are dangerous for law enforcement and first responders

North Carolina state law requires motorists slow down and approach cautiously when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the shoulder of the roadway with its lights flashing.

Drivers are required to move over to another lane away from the emergency vehicle on a multi-lane highway or slow down on a two lane highway and can do so safely. Motorists must slow down while maintaining a safe speed.

On October 1, 2012, the law was expanded to include utility vehicles that are on the side of the road performing their duties. The utility vehicles are required to have a flashing amber-colored light.

Failure to comply with the move over law will result in a mandatory fine of $250.00 plus court costs.

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