North Carolina’s Move Over Law: Not Just for Law Enforcement

Monday, August 23, 2021 - 8:30am

On Tuesday, August 17, Tropical Strom Fred hit the western side of North Carolina, causing severe flash flooding. In response, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 227, which waives the size and weight requirements for vehicles carrying emergency relief supplies or services to assist with the restoration of utility services, debris removal and emergency relief efforts. 

During this time, motorists can expect to see more utility trucks and first responders on the roads as they assist North Carolinians. It is important to note that the North Carolina Move Over Law does apply to utility workers. This requires the utility trucks to have a flashing amber-colored light.

According to G.S. 20-157 (f), motorists must slow down and approach with caution when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with its lights flashing. Motorists should move over to another lane on multilane highways if they can do so safely or slow down on a two-lane highway.

A violation of the move over law will result in a mandatory fine up to $250, plus court costs.

Additional Punishments if Someone is Hurt or Killed:

A person who violates this section and causes damage to property in the immediate area of the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle in excess of $500, or causes injury to a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency vehicle operator, an Incident Management Assistance Patrol member, a public service vehicle operator, or any other emergency response person in the immediate area of the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(i) A person who violates this section and causes serious injury or death to a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency vehicle operator, an Incident Management Assistance Patrol member, a public service vehicle operator, or any other emergency response person in the immediate area of the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle is guilty of a Class F felony. A driver’s license may also be suspended up to six months if convicted.


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Author: 
Joshua Hammond