COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- South Carolina law requires drivers to move over when an approaching an emergency scene. It’s a law that can lead to deadly consequences if it’s not followed.
“We’ve seen where officers have been struck on traffic stops firefighters killed at crash sites,” said Corporal Sonny Collins with SC Highway Patrol explaining the importance of the “Move Over” law.
The law was put in place to protect first responders on emergency scenes.
Corporal Collins continued, “It’s a very simple law if you come up on an emergency scene flashing lights you should move over one lane.”
But there is some ambiguity in the law concerning what is considered as a emergency personnel. Spartanburg lawmaker Representative Steven Long filed a bill in the 2019 session to expand the definition.
“Tow truck driver operators and other emergency personnel are more likely to die on the highway than anyone else. What we’re trying to do is there is a little bit of discrepancy where it talks about emergency vehicles, but it doesn’t designate tow truck drivers as emergency personnel,” explained Representative Long.
The current law outlines a minimum fine of $300 for failing to move over. Long’s proposal would not increase the fines; however, it would expand awareness for all pulled over vehicles.
Corporal Collins added, “Maybe that driver is pulled over to get their phone it’s better to be safe than sorry and give that car that extra room because you never know what could happen.”
The “Move Over” law does not include everyday drivers who may happen to pull over for miscellaneous reasons. Representative Long hopes to add language to the bill to cover those motorists also.
SCHP issued 213 tickets for violating the “Move Over” law in 2018.