When its not fiddling with the budget or adjusting future sea levels, our legislature can do good work. Evidence can be found in the recent passage of a bill that should bring a new measure of protection to those who work on North Carolinas roadsides. Beginning in 2001, the states Move Over law required motorists to move over a lane, or at least slow down (if shifting lanes isnt safe) for law enforcement and emergency workers whose vehicles, lights flashing, were stopped on the shoulder. That law has helped, even if too many drivers still seem oblivious to how vulnerable troopers are on the roadsides. The rules scope has been widened some over the years, and the penalty is now a $250 fine.
Come October, utility crews, including those working on roadside projects as well as those making repairs after storms, will also get some Move Over protection. The bills sponsor, Republican Rep. Shirley B. Randleman of Wilkesboro, said it well: If anything I can do as a motorist is going to keep those people safe, Im willing to move over. The bill passed the House 113 to 1. What was that lone legislator thinking?