S.C. Drivers Face Penalties for not Switching Lanes to Avoid Emergency

March 6, 2008

South Carolina Drivers who don’t slow down and switch lanes on a four-lane highway to avoid law enforcement or emergency workers on the roadside could get four points on their license under legislation approved Tuesday by a House committee.

The law already says drivers should switch lanes if possible to avoid an emergency scene if they’re on a road with at least four lanes.

The bill increases penalties against drivers who endanger law enforcement or rescue workers by not properly approaching an emergency scene. The misdemeanor is now punishable by a fine between $300 and $500.

Under the proposal, on a second conviction, a driver would be fined up to $2,000 or face up to two years in prison, or up to 48 hours of community service. And a driver who seriously injures or kills an officer, firefighter or rescue worker could be charged with a felony and face up to a $10,000 fine or 10 years in prison.

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