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Proposed change to "move over" law would protect stranded drivers

Men change the flat tires on the car of an NPR guest in Kabul.
Sultan Faizy
File photo: Men changing a flat tire.

The North Carolina Senate wants to change the state’s “move over” traffic laws to protect people stranded on the roadside.

Current law requires drivers to switch lanes to make room for stopped law enforcement and emergency vehicles on the side of the road. On roads that only have one lane, drivers are required to slow down.

A bill that passed the Senate last week would create the same requirements for disabled vehicles stopped within 12 feet of the road.

Senator Vickie Sawyer of Iredell County is the bill’s sponsor.

“If a vehicle is disabled on the side of the road and has its flashing lights on or hazards, it's just asking to please move over for the safety of those who are on the side of the road,” she said.

Drivers who violate the law could face a $250 fine. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House.