Raleigh, North Carolina (PRWEB) October 07, 2012
For drivers on the streets and highways of North Carolina, most understand the requirements involving moving over when police or emergency personal are approaching or on the roadside. Everyone realizes that for these individuals, their jobs are already risky and that risk is compounded when they have to operate on the roadside. For that reason, the law has always been that when they are approaching, you must do your best to move over and avoid obstructing them. If the emergency vehicle is on the road side, with their emergency lights flashing, a Driver must move over one lane when possible and/or slow down and be prepared to stop when passing them.
"The risk that our police and emergency crews undertake is serious, these laws are important to provide them the best possible security while maintaining traffic flow." Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney M. Moseley Matheson stated.
As of October 1, 2012, this law has been expanded to include utility crews and emergency vehicles assisting officers and/or motorists with disabled vehicles. North Carolina Traffic Law N.C.G.S. 20-157 was codified with these additions which explains the requirements of North Carolina Drivers and also includes the specific punishments a driver will face should they violate the new changes to this law.
When a utility crew or emergency vehicle is within 12 feet of the road way, and have their amber emergency lights flashing, then this law is applicable. Under these circumstances, the Driver is expected to move over one lane when there are two or more lanes of same direction travel. If there is not a second or more lane to move over to, the Driver is expected to slow down to a safe speed and be prepared to stop until they have fully passed the emergency vehicles.
Raleigh Traffic Defense Attorney M. Moseley Matheson advises, "Whenever faced with emergency personal on the side of the road, whether that is police, fire, EMS, utility or public assistance vehicles, its important to understand your duty to move over and/or slow down for their safety and yours."
Under the changes to this law, a Driver can be charged with an infraction, including a fine of $250.00. Should the Driver cause property damage in excess of $500 in the immediate area of the emergency vehicle or causes injury to emergency personal the Driver can be charged with a class 1 Misdemeanor which can carry with it up to 120 days in jail. Should the Driver cause serious bodily injury or death to any emergency personal, including police, firefighters, EMS, or public safety vehicle operator or emergency response personnel, the Driver can be charged with a class I Felony, which can carry with it up to 15 months in prison and a six month license suspension.
"The consequences for violating this law are serious" says Wake County DWI Lawyer M. Moseley Matheson. "The reality is, many people will not realize the new change to the law and could easily violate it, not understanding all circumstances in which it is applicable."
If you have been charged under this law, it is important to contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Firm. If you are in need of a Raleigh Traffic Defense Law Firm, the Matheson Law Office offers free consultations. To schedule your free consultation, contact the firm at 919-335-5291.