This follows a crash Wed. morning on I-270 in Montgomery County.
Rockville, Md (KM) Maryland State Police are reminding citizens about the “Move Over” law. It requires motorists traveling along a highway who see an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing to move into another lane so that police officers, EMT’s and other emergency workers can safely do their jobs. If they can’t move over, drivers should slow down when they encounter emergency vehicles.
Spokesman Ron Snyder says a crash Wednesday morning on I-270 northbound near Shady Grove Road is a good example of why it’s important to pay attention to the “Move Over” law. Around 6:15 AM, troopers from the Rockville Barrack responded to the highway for a suspected impaired driver. Four troopers were on the scene to assist.
At that time, another motorist traveling north on I-270 struck three state police cruisers which all had their emergency lights activated. “Thankfully, none of the troopers or the motorist involved in the crash were injured, although that motorist was taken to the hospital for precaution,” Snyder says.
That driver is identified as Albert Danene Bishop, 80, of North Bethesda, who was issued a citation for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, negligent driving and failure to obey a traffic control device.
The driver who was pulled over originally, Jonathan Lee Hostetter, 27, of Sunderland, Md., was arrested at the scene and taken to the Rockville Barrack for processing.
The “Move Over” law has been in affect since 2010. At that time, it covered police officers and cruisers.. In 2014, tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks were added. In October, 2018, it was further expanded to include transportation and utility vehicles, and waste and recycling trucks with yellow or amber flashing lights and signal devices, says Snyder.
He also says most motorists have been abiding by the law as represented by the decrease in the number of citations and warnings being issued by troopers. “But they’ve gotten the message, and fewer people are violating this law, it doesn’t mean we stop reminding people of the importance of this law to keep not only keep our first responders and emergency vehicle operators safe, but motorists safe overall,” says Snyder.
Under the law, emergency vehicles are defined as those of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies; fire and rescue vehicles; state vehicles responding to oil and hazardous materials spills; state vehicles designed for emergency use by the Commissioner of Corrections; ambulances; transportation, service and utility vehicles, waste and recycling trucks with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices; and special vehicles funded by state, federal or local governments for emergency or rescue purposes in Maryland.
Motorists who violate the law as a first offense can could face a fine of $110, and one point on their licenses. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine is $150 and three points on their licenses. Motorists who violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in a death of serious injury face a fine of up $750 with three points on their licenses.
By Kevin McManus