Most people understand that police officers and other emergency responders do dangerous jobs at times. This work becomes even more dangerous when police officers or other emergency responders have to stop on the side of busy roads. Since 1999, over 200 law enforcement officers have been struck and killed by vehicles. Along with that, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and others who need to get out of their vehicles to help people along busy roadways have been hurt or killed when they were hit by a vehicle while working along a busy roadway. Because of that, Move Over Laws have been implemented in all 50 states with Hawaii being the most recent state to adopt a Move Over Law in July 2012. Here are some things you should know about South Carolina’s Move Over Law:
- In South Carolina, the Move Over Law requires drivers to move over for any stopped emergency vehicles and emergency personnel. This includes ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, or towing trucks and the people who were traveling in these vehicles. Basically, if the vehicle has flashing lights, drivers should move over.
- When traveling on a road with two or more lanes going in the same direction, drivers should, when possible, move over to a lane not adjacent to the emergency vehicle or emergency personnel.
- When a lane change is unsafe or impossible, drivers should slow down and watch for anyone who is walking or standing outside the vehicle.
- If a driver hits and either injures or kills someone because they failed to move over or slow down, they will likely face jail time and high fines. Even if the driver does not hit anyone, they can face fines between $300 and $500 for failure to obey the law requiring the person to move over or slow down.
- While every state has a Move Over Law, they do differ depending upon the state. Some only require you to move over for emergency vehicles, and not tow trucks. Others have laws about the exact amount you need to slow down if you are staying in the lane next to the emergency vehicle. Overall, it is best to remember if there are flashing lights, move over or slow down.
Unfortunately, not every driver pays attention on busy roadways. If you were hurt in an automobile accident where the other driver was at fault, our Columbia injury attorneys are there for you. Contact us to learn how we can help you.