North Carolina Lawmakers Look to Toughen Move-Over Law
NORTH CAROLINA – According to a news story reported online by wect.com, North Carolina lawmakers are looking to toughen the state’s move-over law. The law regulates the actions drivers must take when they see emergency and service vehicles stopped on the side of the road.*
North Carolina Sen. Danny Britt and Sen. Tom McInnis have sponsored a bill that recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and seeks to increase the penalties for violators of the state’s move-over law. The bill, called the Officer Jason Quick Act, is named after a law enforcement officer who was struck and killed by a vehicle in 2018 while he was on the scene of a vehicle accident.
Under the proposed new (and existing) law, drivers need to slow down when they see an emergency vehicle or service vehicle, move into the farthest lane away from the vehicle that is safe, and proceed with caution at a safe speed. If a driver fails to follow the move-over law, he or she could be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor under the new Act.
In addition, a driver who violates the law and causes more than $500 in damage to an emergency or service vehicle or causes injury to a person at the scene (officer, firefighter, responder, worker, vehicle operator) could be charged with a Class I felony, rather than the Class I misdemeanor penalty under the current law.
And a person who violates the law and causes serious injury or death to a person at the scene could be charged with a Class I felony, rather than the Class 1 misdemeanor penalty under the current law. The law is proceeding to a vote in the Senate, and it could go into effect in December 2019 if it passes all hurdles.
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