What is the Move Over Law and Fender Bender Law?

Sometimes helpful folks or emergency responders are injured when they respond to a car crash. For example, Scott Stanley, a Guilford County, North Carolina firefighter was injured on the job while responding to a traffic accident. While he was exiting the fire truck parked on the shoulder of the road, a passing car sped by at close range, hitting Stanley and causing long-term leg and knee damage. This on-the-job injury could have been prevented had the driver of the car been aware of and complied with the Move Over Law.

The Move Over Law and Fender Bender Law are two relatively new laws in the books in North Carolina. However, a fair number of drivers don't know about the laws (or the consequences of breaking the laws) because they are so recent. The Move Over law went into effect at the beginning of 2002, while the Fender Bender Law went into effect at the end of 2003.

The Move Over Law requires that when drivers see an accident scene or any emergency vehicles with their light flashing on the side of the road, they are to move into the far lane, reduce their speed, and be prepared to stop. If there is only one lane of traffic, cars should further reduce their speed and be on the lookout for emergency workers and emergency vehicles. If you violate the Move Over Law, you could face at least a $250 fine and at least $100 in court costs. More importantly you will endanger the lives of emergency responders.

The Fender Bender Law requires that drivers involved in minor accidents (in which the cars are still operational) move their vehicles as far to the shoulder of the road as possible, and as quickly as safely possible. If you violate the Fender-Bender Law, you may face a $10 fine and a possible $100 court fee. On top of that, you could cause a second accident when your damaged vehicle is left in the roadway.