RALEIGH, N.C. — The General Assembly is increasing the criminal penalty for motorists who violate North Carolina's "move-over" law and a first responder dies or is seriously injured.

The Senate agreed on Wednesday to House changes to the bill, which responds to the December death of a Lumberton officer which occurred when authorities say a passing car struck him during an investigation.

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The move-over law requires motorists to change lanes or otherwise slow down when they approach police cruisers with flashing emergency lights. The bill heading to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk would create a more severe felony when serious injury or death occurs, with possible prison time for someone with an otherwise clean record.

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