NC's Move Over Law Expands Oct. 1
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - John Connors is a tow truck dispatcher. He knows all about the road-side dangers his drivers face. "A driver sideswiped him and he ended up on the hood of the car he was hooking up," Connors recalls. Another driver Connors works with was off the job for two weeks after getting sandwiched. "He was in between a car and the tow truck and a car came and slammed into the car he was hooking up," Connors says.
Connors blames people who aren't paying attention, saying "That's just common sense."
On October 1st, North Carolina's "Move Over Law" expands to protect not just police, fire, medic and tow trucks but also crews using amber-colored flashing lights. That includes utility workers and road maintenance crews. Failing to move over could mean a $250 fine. If you also damage property, you could face a misdemeanor charge and if you hurt or kill someone, you could face a felony charge.
Others say $250 is too much. Northeast Charlotte resident John Davis says, "Maybe it should be a little lower...50 bucks. A lot of people don't know it's in effect."
West Charlotte resident Russell Seay didn't know about the expanded law, but supports it. He says, "It's good, anybody's life is worth saving."
Connors says the drivers he dispatches aren't expecting to see much of a difference on the roads. For them, "It's just another day on the job."
More than 32,600 drivers in North Carolina have been convicted for not moving over since 2002. A utility worker died last November after being hit as he worked on the side of a road in Wayne County.
On roads with only one lane in each direction, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop. 47 states have similar statutes.