Adhere to the Move Over Law

As the holiday travel season approaches, traffic is expected to greatly increase on highways and interstates as Carolinians take road trips to visit with family and friends. This is the perfect time to remind everyone to adhere to the Move Over Law – effective in all 50 states. 


This law is essential in protecting State Troopers and other law enforcement officers as well as emergency personnel and utility workers stopped alongside the highway. It is also extended to highway workers in temporary work zones.


The law requires that drivers – if they deem it is safe to do so – move a lane away from any law enforcement or emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Law enforcement, emergency (such as an AAA towing service vehicle) and utility vehicles should be stopped with lights flashing to alert drivers to move over.


It is also required that motorists slow down when driving by a stopped emergency vehicle.



Drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, utility vehicle or temporary work zone should:

  • Significantly reduce their vehicle speed and keep vehicle under control.
  • Approach the scene cautiously.
  • If there is a second lane, motorists are required to change lanes away from the stopped vehicle.
  • Maintain the reduced speed until fully clear of the situation.


Failure to adhere to the Move Over Law in North Carolina will result in a $500 fine along with the possibility of being charged with a felony if a collision occurs.  Failure to adhere to the Move Over Law in South Carolina is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $300 and $500.


Emergency personnel workers put their lives at risk each day to keep the Carolinas safe and respond to all road incidents. The Move Over Law was established to protect them while on duty and therefore it is strictly enforced. Unfortunately, it remains widely ignored by drivers – resulting in many avoidable collisions. 


AAA Carolinas urges motorists to follow the guidelines of this law to ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday for all.


AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.


For more seasonal traffic safety tips, please subscribe to our AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety e-newsletter. By clicking the button below, you will be registered to receive an email each month with the latest information regarding traffic safety, including travel forecasts and automotive trends.

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