WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Penalties for drivers that violate the state’s “Move Over Law” would be tougher under a bill filed in the state House by Rep. Brenden Jones (R-Columbus County). House Bill 81 is a companion to a bill filed by Sen. Danny Joe Britt, who represents Columbus and Robeson counties in the state Senate.
Under the proposal, the penalty for anyone convicted of violating the law and cause more than $500 worth of property damage or injury to an emergency responder or law enforcement officer would go from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class I felony. The penalty for a driver convicted of violating the law and causing the death of an emergency responder or law enforcement officer would change from Class I to a Class F felony.
If it passes the General Assembly and is signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper, HB81 would be called “The Jason Quick Act”. Rep. Jones says he was moved to introduce the bill following the death of Officer Jason Quick of the Lumberton Police Department who was hit by a car and killed in December while investigating a crash on I-95 in Robeson County.
“We are indebted to our first responders, for the many sacrifices they make on a daily basis to keep us safe,” Rep. Jones said. “So we must do everything in our power to keep them safe. While the loss of Officer Quick prompted this bill, hopefully it will help protect others in the future. Our first responders put their lives in danger every day for us, and we certainly owe them everything we can do to keep them safe as well.”