Officials stress Move Over Law after crash involving emergency vehicle in Pender County

The NCDOT and State Highway Patrol are stressing the need for drivers to change lanes when passing emergency vehicles indicated by flashing lights.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 1:33 PM EDT
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The NCDOT and State Highway Patrol are stressing the need for drivers to change lanes when passing emergency vehicles indicated by flashing lights. This comes in the wake of crashes in Pender and Wake counties involving emergency vehicles with their lights on.

In Pender County, NCDOT safety patrolman Roger Hawkins says he was helping someone with a flat tire at the side of the road on I-40. After fixing the tire, he went back to his truck where a car slammed into his from behind. His driver’s seat broke, but the brakes and seatbelt were enough to save him.

“I looked in my mirror and I saw this car coming at a high rate of speed and it ran just right in the back of me,” said Hawkins. “If you see lights, don’t think just because they’re yellow they don’t mean anything.”

NC SHP Trooper Joseph Atwell also shared his experience at the side of the road helping deputies with a suspected drunk driver on a highway in Wake County. Atwell was walking around to the other side of the vehicle before he was interrupted.

“The sheriff’s deputy stopped and asked me one question and it stopped me just long enough to pause and then that vehicle hit [my car]. If he hadn’t have asked me that question – that would’ve been my body.”

The NCDOT writes that people are required to move over to next lane from a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights. If the driver can’t move over, they’re required to significantly reduce their speed.

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