Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers wish each of you a safe and enjoyable holiday travel season and encourage you to obey the law and move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4 in 10 fatal work accidents last year resulted from traffic accidents and claimed 2,130 lives. Traffic accidents are among the leading cause of death for firefighters, police officers, road construction crews and others whose job it is to keep the roads safe and passable through the long holiday travel season.
Transportation accidents were responsible for 47 of the 125 fatal North Carolina work accidents reported last year.
On December 1, North Carolina expanded its Move Over law to include service trucks driven by utility companies. The current law was enacted in 2002 and requires that motorists move over or slow down for emergency vehicles with flashing lights.
Violations carry a fine of $250 and the fine is doubled if an accident occurs.
“Our crews often work in hazardous conditions along roads to repair power poles and lines and restore service to the people who depend on us,” Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas, told ENCToday. “Expanding the Move Over law to include them and their important work is a welcome change and will provide increased safety.”
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said most vehicles with flashing lights are covered under the new law.
“If a driver had to call a wrecker, that would be covered,” said Sgt. G.S. Hemby said. “Any vehicle called to the scene by a motorist or emergency personnel would be covered under the law if they have flashing auburn-colored lights.”