COLUMBIA — Motorists are being reminded to “move over” during the holidays for law enforcement, emergency and highway workers.
South Carolina’s emergency scenes law requires motorists to reduce their speed and safely change lanes away from emergency vehicles, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety.
An emergency scene is defined by law 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 and other “authorized emergency vehicles including ambulance, police, fire, rescue, recovery or towing vehicle authorized by this state, county, or municipality to respond to a traffic incident.”
Motorists are also required 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.”
“We want to keep emergency personnel safe this holiday season as they work to keep the public safe,” said S.C. Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith. “Stay alert, and when you see flashing lights ahead, make preparations to safely move over, allowing first responders room to work.”
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 vehicle speed, change lanes if at all possible to allow room for responders to work safely and maintain 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.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety provided information for this story.