The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is joining thousands of law-enforcement agencies across the country in promoting the “Move Over Law”. The “Move Over” awareness campaign comes in the wake of a crash this past weekend that killed a Nashville, TN Metro Officer while he was working an accident on I-65. A tractor trailer struck and killed Officer Michael Petrina, 25, even though drivers had a two-mile notice.
To bring more awareness to each state’s “Move Over” law, the Tennessee Highway Patrol just recently launched a massive social media campaign. As a result, law enforcement agencies across the country, including the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, have joined forces in spreading the message through Facebook and Tweets. The outpouring of support has resulted in hundreds of people holding small signs with the hashtag #MoveOver.
Just like Tennessee, North Carolina is not immune to these types of incidents. On August 7, 2013, Trooper A. G. Knight was conducting a traffic on US 64 in Wake County, a practice he had done time and time again. But this day would be like no other day.
As he spoke to the driver on the shoulder of the roadway, he suddenly heard the sound of skidding tires and smelled burning rubber. With 80,000 pounds of metal bearing down on him, he ran for cover out of harm’s way. Thankfully, in this case, everyone walked away without a scratch.
However, not all law enforcement officers have been so lucky. Since 1999, more than 164 U.S. law enforcement officers have been struck and killed by vehicles along America’s highways. Since the Highway Patrol’s inception in 1929, six troopers have been struck and killed while conducting a traffic stop.
Originally enacted in 2002, the Move Over law directs motorists to change lanes or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the roadside. In the fall of 2012, the law was revised to include “public service” vehicles. Public services vehicles are described as any vehicle that is being used to assist motorists or law enforcement officers with wrecked or disabled vehicles, or is a vehicle being used to install, maintain or restore utility service, including electric, cable, telephone, communications and gas. These vehicles must display amber lights.