Move Over, Save Lives

March 13, 2022

Every year, workers along the sides of roads are injured or killed when cars crash into authorized emergency vehicles, public service vehicles, and crew sites, even when they are marked with flashing lights, bright cones, or warning signs. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, incidents involving workers being struck by vehicles is one of the top causes of highway fatalities.

North Carolina, like most states, has a “Move Over” law that was passed to protect police, firefighters, and other first responders, and in recent years, this law was expanded to protect utility and highway workers.

Despite these efforts and others like them across the nation, many drivers simply don’t pay attention. An easy way for drivers to reduce incidents that harm these workers is to remember a slogan—actually, a law— “Slow down or move over.”

The law is simple: When approaching an authorized emergency or public service vehicle with amber flashing lights, drivers must move over when possible. If moving over is not possible or if they are on a two-lane road, drivers must slow down significantly while maintaining a safe speed.

Every worker has the right to work in a safe environment. Remember, slowing down and moving over not only shows common courtesy and respect for the hard work they do, it also saves lives.