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WAKE COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Highway Patrol says a trooper’s recent close call with a tractor trailer is a good reminder of the importance of North Carolina’s “Move Over” law.

On Aug. 7, Tpr. A.G. Knight was conducting a traffic stop on US 64 in Wake County. As he spoke to the driver on the shoulder of the road, he suddenly heard the sound of skidding tires and the smell of burning rubber. He quickly ran for safety as an 80,000-pound semi came swerved and jack-knifed.

No one was hurt, but Highway Patrol says since 1999, more than 164 US law enforcement officers have been hit and killed by vehicles along America’s highways.

Originally enacted in 2002, the Move Over law directs motorists to change lanes or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the roadside. In the fall of 2012, the law was revised to include “public service” vehicles. Public services vehicles are described as any vehicle that is being used to assist motorists or law enforcement officers with wrecked or disabled vehicles, or is a vehicle being used to install, maintain or restore utility service, including electric, cable, telephone, communications and gas. These vehicles must display amber lights.

In part, the law states: Motorists who are driving on a four-lane highway are required to move their vehicle into a lane that is not the lane nearest the parked or standing authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle and continue traveling in that lane until safely clear of the authorized emergency vehicle.

Motorists who are traveling on a two-lane highway are required to slow their vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions, and operate the vehicle at a reduced speed and be prepared to stop until completely past the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle.

The penalty for violating the law is a $250 fine plus court costs. Motorists can face misdemeanor charges for causing personal injury or property damage greater than $500 and felony charges for severe injury or death in the immediate area of a stopped emergency vehicle or public service vehicle.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest-o-matic

    …and my guess is he had to make a quick trip to the house!
    I had a Semi to sideswipe my truck that was parked well within the emergency lane of I-20. I had stopped to assist an injured motorcyclist. He essentially welded my door shut, ripped off the right side of the bed, popped the rear tire, ripped the mirror and door handle off. Pretty much tore up the entire drivers side.
    After looking things over, I felt I could still get home if I changed my rear tire and enter the vehicle from the passenger side. I had the truck as far away from traffic as I could get and still have a base for the jack. While positioning the jack, I had to lay down in the emergency lane. Nobody would move over. Trucks, busses and RVs were only inches from running over me and would not move over at 75 to 90 mph. I actually thought those would be the last few minutes of my life. Here I am trying to fix a truck someone has already hit and now I’m going to get killed doing it.
    ANYTIME you see anyone pulled over, stay as far away from them as possible in passing! This sort of event happens far too often!

    PS – It was a government AAFES semi that took mine out. It took well over a YEAR for them to pay for my damages, no rental, no expenses, nothing even though they were clearly at fault. A HUGE inconvenience and they didn’t give a rat’s hind-quarters. I hate to say it, but if I had to do it over again, I’d contact the best attorney I could find…the first day!

  • tke1

    For years, it has been a game with some (not all) truckers to see who could take the campaign hats off troopers and other law enforcement officers who were conducting traffic stops, working crashes, or other activities that required them to stand near the edge of a highway, particularly a 4 lane road. You could hear them laughing and talking about their exploits on the CB radios, bragging about who came the closest and how far the hats rolled.

  • Trucker

    STFU stupid. I’ve been out here 20 years and have never heard these stories. Step away from the crack pipe.

  • Guesticles1234

    How is this considered close? The first tractor trailer that went by was closer than the one that wrecked. Look at the skid marks on the road, they’re a good 4 feet over from the white line, not even close where the cop was.

    lol @ chicken cop running scared. I guess he had to change his diaper.d

  • Guest 1492

    I’m guessing that famous last words in your family probably sound something like: “Hey! Watch me do this!”.

    Oh well, if you can’t acquire common sense, a lack of intelligence would be a logical substitution. Good luck with that.

  • Guest111

    I am so glad the trooper is safe!!

  • Brian

    If you watch the video, the Pepsi truck had slowed down because a car did not allow him to move over. The driver of the truck behind the Pepsi truck didn’t realize that the Pepsi truck had slowed down, and slid to a stop to keep from hitting him.

    Traffic stops such as this need to be moved to a safe parking area AWAY from the roadway. There is no reason for business to be conducted on the roadside, it’s just too dangerous. Make the stop, then take the next exit and find a parking lot to write the ticket. I believe that these ‘move over’ laws are causing more problems than they’re solving.

  • Mike Dickman

    In a perfect world, it would be great to conduct the business of a traffic stop at a nearby parking lot. However, not all those who are stopped are upstanding citizens and would not provide coorperation in leading or following an officer to a “safe” location to be issued a citation.

  • Guest9988

    I’m not sure what common sense has to do with anything said in the previous post. When the officer started running, the truck had already passed. If he was going to be hit, it would have already happened. Therefore, if he would have stood there, like a man, nothing different would have happened, except he wouldn’t look like such a coward. I guess it’s common sense to run away from noises. I guess it’s common sense to run from something that has already passed by. I guess it’s common sense to be retarded by not making any sense while commenting on another persons comment. Keep up the good posting.


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