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6/21/2005
North Carolina Cops Harass Out of State Driver
North Carolina police harass woman after she returns to Pennsylvania because she questioned a ticket she received.

Move Over logo
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania resident Terry Delgado, 46, received a $125 ticket after she passed a series of North Carolina state troopers who were writing tickets on the side of I-95 in the Tarheel state. Police cited Delgado with failure to obey North Carolina's "Move Over" law that was adopted in 2002. This law requires motorists to change lanes away from an emergency vehicle if it is stopped on the side of the road.

Delgado was traveling through North Carolina on the way to South Carolina and wasn't aware of the law. After she reached her destination, she checked and found at least a dozen other out-of-state motorists had been given the same ticket. That provided her the incentive to fight her ticket -- and she won. Her story made headlines in South Carolina, and that's when the harassing letters started to arrive.

One trooper sent Delgado a magazine article about a trooper who died in a roadside accident with a note that read, "Send a letter to Trp. Cogdill's wife and child and tell them that the 'Move on Over' charge is just a revenue scam!"

The wife of a North Carolina officer wrote a letter to Delgado that read, "Perhaps this is something engrained into me, because I'm from the South, but we are taught to use etiquette, and common sense, at all times. Maybe this is a practice you should consider."

A third letter from a police officer read, "I was amazed at your lack of concern for the well-being and safety of police and emergency workers of my great state, as well as every other state."

North Carolina police are now investigating the letters and have posted signs to warn out-of-state motorists about the Move Over law.

Article Excerpt:
Text of the "Move Over" law:
G.S. 20-157 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"(f) When an authorized emergency vehicle as described in subsection (a) of this section is parked or standing within 12 feet of a roadway and is giving a warning signal by appropriate light, the driver of every other approaching vehicle shall, as soon as it is safe and when not otherwise directed by an individual lawfully directing traffic, do one of the following:

(1) Move the vehicle into a lane that is not the lane nearest the parked or standing authorized emergency vehicle and continue traveling in that lane until safely clear of the authorized emergency vehicle. This paragraph applies only if the roadway has at least two lanes for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle and if the approaching vehicle may change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.

(2) Slow the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions, and operate the vehicle at a reduced speed until completely past the authorized emergency vehicle. This paragraph applies only if the roadway has only one lane for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle or if the approaching vehicle may not change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
Violation of this subsection shall not be negligence per se."
Source: Move over or get a ticket in N.C. (Philadelphia Daily News, 6/20/2005)



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