The "move over" law is something not all South Carolina motorists may be aware of – but it's a law everyone should know. On Friday June 6 th, officials in Berkeley and Charleston Counties announced their efforts to increase awareness about South Carolina's move over law, and why it's important for everyone to understand and abide by it.
A move over law requires motorists to move over, change lanes, or provide a safe distance when passing law enforcement officers, emergency responders, and construction crews doing work on public roadways. In South Carolina, the law was revised over a decade ago to ensure the safety of police officers and other first responders who perform their duties on the side of roads and highways.
The latest effort to remind residents about the move over law comes after a recent incident involving the death of a Florida Trooper who was struck and killed by a motorist while assisting a motorist on the side of a highway. According to statistics, these types of incidents are all too common:
- According to the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), an average of more than 50 officers are struck and killed by vehicles along roadways each year.
- The National Institute of Justice states that more law enforcement officers die each year in traffic accidents than from any other cause, including shootings.
Under South Carolina's move over law, any motorist approaching a construction work zone or emergency scene is required to do the following:
- Keep vehicles under control
- Reduce speed and proceed with caution
- Yield the right-of-way by making a lane change or moving over when safe
- Maintain a safe speed for road conditions if changing lanes is not possible or safe
Officials from EMS, Fire, and Police departments in both Berkeley County and Charleston County held a news conference on June 6 th at the Mount Pleasant Police Department to encourage motorists to give safe clearance to anyone working on the side of the road. They also stated that officers will be increasing their efforts to enforce the move over law. Motorists who don't obey the law can be cited and may face fines as high as $1,067.
Protect Those Who Protect You
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers wants to remind motorists about the importance of remaining aware when behind the wheel. Driving distracted and even "rubber-necking" can place others in harm's way, including police officers and emergency responders who are here to help.