Many states have a Move Over Law that requires drivers to move across a lane to give space to emergency services workers. However, in North Carolina, this goes one step further. It is not only flashing blue or red lights you need to watch out for but also flashing orange ones.
Which vehicles are covered by the Move Over Law?
In North Carolina, the law applies to emergency service vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. It also applies to utility vehicles such as those belonging to gas, electricity, cable or telephone companies when parked to carry out maintenance or repairs.
Which direction should you move?
If you see one of these vehicles parked up ahead on the right, you should try and move left one lane. The idea is to free the lane closest to the workers from traffic and make it safer for them to carry out their duties. You must also slow down until you are past them. Once you are beyond them, you are free to speed up and filter back into the right-hand lane. If there is only one lane for vehicles traveling in your direction, all you can do is slow down.
You could face traffic violation charges if you misunderstand the laws
Failing to comply with the Move Over Law can result in a fine and a misdemeanor charge. If you injure someone, it could become a felony. One thing to note is that the law states you must be able to make the lane change or speed change “safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.” If charged with an offense, you might be able to argue that you did not feel it was safe to move over or slow down at the time.