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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Move Over Law - Reprint from June 2009

Editor: This is a good program and one that all motorist should heed... I would add another sign with larger letters that would give this warning: DO NOT RIDE IN THE LEFT LANE UNLESS YOU ARE PASSING A SLOWER CAR IN THE RIGHT LANE. Can I have an AMEN!
SC Secretary of Transportation H.B. "Buck" Limehouse speaks during a news conference to bring attention to the Move Over Law that requires motorists to slow down or move over when approaching stopped emergency vehicles. Also speaking at the event were: (left of Limehouse) SC Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel and (right of Limehouse) SC Highway Patrol Colonel Kenny Lancaster. Holding the sign are, from left: Ada Gardner of SCDOT's Richland Maintenance office, Roger Roscoe of the Camden Fire Department, Micah Norman of Lexington County EMS and Corporal M. B. Coffin of the SC Highway Patrol.  (Photo by Rob Thompson/SCDOT)

SCDOT Joins SCDPS to Educate Motorists About “Move Over” Law

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is installing signs across the state to educate motorists about the law requiring motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible as they encounter an emergency scene or a temporary work zone.

The signs read, “Move Over Or Reduce Speed For Stopped Emergency Vehicles.”
SCDOT is installing approximately 30 signs on various locations along I-20, I-26, I-77, I-85, I-95, I-385 and I-526.
 SCDOT has also partnered with SCDPS to produce a television public service announcement about the Move Over law.  It will be used in educational presentations by the SC Highway Patrol and will be distributed to driver education teachers across the state for use in their classrooms. 
SCDOT joined the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) at news conferences at locations across the state on June 17 to announce these efforts.
“SCDOT personnel face danger every day in temporary work zones that are covered by the Move Over law,” said South Carolina Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse. “We have thousands of maintenance and construction employees and personnel of our subcontractors who are working on our highways every day and during nighttime hours as well.  They are working to make your ride smoother and safer.”
“Anytime you see stopped emergency vehicles, orange work zone signs or equipment with flashing lights, and workers on the scene – move over.  Give these dedicated men and women room to work and room to live,” Limehouse said.
“The safety of first responders and highway workers continues to be an issue – both in South Carolina and nationwide,” said Director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Mark Keel. “That is why this effort was undertaken by our agencies.  I want to thank the many state and local law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS and others who have joined us in this important effort.”
The “Move Over” law requires motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible if they encounter an emergency scene.  Section 56-5-1538 defines an emergency scene as “a location designated by the potential need to provide emergency medical care.”   It is identified by emergency vehicles with flashing lights, rescue equipment, or emergency personnel on scene.
South Carolina’s “Move Over” law also provides protection for highway workers.  Section 56-5-1536 also requires motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible when passing temporary work zones.  A temporary work zone is defined as “an area on a roadway identified by orange work zone signs or equipment with flashing lights, and the presence of workers on the scene.” 
Drivers approaching a temporary work zone or an emergency scene are required by law to:
  • Keep their vehicle under control
  • Proceed with due caution
  • Significantly reduce their vehicle speed
  • Yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the temporary work vehicle or equipment if on a highway with at least four lanes, with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction
  • Maintain the safe speed for road conditions if changing lanes is impossible or unsafe. 

Endangering temporary work zone or emergency personnel is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500.  Obeying this little-known law can save a life and prevent injury. 

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