Raleigh— The N.C. Department of Transportation, along with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, launched a new “Move Over” and “Fender Bender” law awareness campaign today in Raleigh. Law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, local utilities and towing companies partnered with NCDOT and CAMPO on this new pilot program to educate the public about these important laws.
“Safety is our top priority, and this team effort will not only help protect those who drive on our roads, but also those who work alongside them every day,” said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “By reminding motorists to follow these laws, we can give police officers, firefighters, NCDOT employees and others a safer work environment.”
Under the "Move Over" law, motorists are required to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce their speed when approaching emergency vehicles with flashing lights stopped on the shoulder of the highway. This includes public service vehicles with amber lights. Violating the law could result in a $500 fine.
North Carolina is one of 49 states that has enacted the “Move Over” law. On the national level, traffic crashes and incidents in which a vehicle hits a worker on the roadside are the leading causes of on-duty injuries and deaths for law enforcement, firefighters, and towing and recovery personnel. North Carolina enacted the “Move Over” law in 2002 and expanded it in 2012 to include utility vehicles and road maintenance operations.
“Our message is simple – if you see lights flashing on the roadside, move over at least one lane to give firefighters and others enough room to safely do their jobs,” said Apex Fire Chief Mark Haraway. “We work hand-in-hand with police, NCDOT, EMS crews, tow truck operators and utility workers, and we all deserve the same peace of mind when working on alongside the roadways.”
The “Fender Bender” law requires motorists to move their vehicles to the shoulder of the road following minor, non-injury crashes. Drivers who don’t follow the law could face a $110 fine and court costs.
Minor accidents such as fender benders often result in traffic backups. They can also create safety hazards for the people involved in the crash and the emergency personnel who respond. By moving the vehicles to the shoulder first and then getting out to assess the damage, drivers can reduce the risk of triggering additional accidents.
With the launch of today’s campaign, NCDOT and CAMPO encourage Wake County residents to share the importance of following these laws via social media, using the hashtag “#moveoverNC.” The term “move over” applies to both the “Move Over” and “Fender Bender” laws.
“We’re joining other states across the country in adopting the ‘move over’ hashtag, because we want to keep drivers and those who work along our highways safe,” said NCDOT Deputy Secretary of Communications Mike Charbonneau. “Spreading the word through social media is just one piece of our multifaceted approach to educating people about the importance of following these laws.”
The pilot campaign launched June 9 and runs through the month of June. Wake County residents will see billboards along major highways and advertisements on local media websites, and hear public service announcements on local radio stations, reminding them that it is the law to move over when approaching flashing lights or if they are involved a fender bender.
This pilot program currently involves Wake County only. NCDOT is looking to expand the program to counties across the state.
For additional information on North Carolina’s “Move Over” and “Fender Bender” laws, visit NCDOT.gov.
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