Police wish to end preventable tragedies by raising awareness for the law
Frederick, MD (KB) Maryland State Police are issuing a reminder for the “Move Over” law. Two years ago, it was expanded to include all active service vehicles with lights flashing on state roads. Spokesman, Ron Snyder, explains that drivers should move over to allow emergency workers to safely do their jobs.
“What happens is is that we have first responders, we have emergency vehicles, work crews that are doing dangerous work on the highways and on the roads,” says Snyder. “Often times cars are going 50-60 miles an hour, and we’re trying to keep them as safe as possible while also keeping all motorists as safe as possible by making sure they understand that if they see one of these vehicles on the road to move over, if they can’t move over, slow down, and take appropriate action to ensure no one gets hurt.”
The Maryland “Move Over” law applies to law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, medical responders, and most recently, service and utility vehicles. If drivers are unable to safely make a lane change when approaching such active vehicles from behind, drivers are expected to at least slow down to ensure the safety of all involved.
Failure to follow the “Move Over” law is considered a misdemeanor. Violation of the law as a first offense could result in a $110 fine as well as one point on the license of the driver. If failure to follow the law results in a crash, the fine is $150 and three points on the driver’s license. If the violation contributes to a crash resulting in death or serious bodily injury, the fine could be as high as $750 in addition to three points on the license of the driver at fault.
According to the US Department of Transportation, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed by being struck on the highway since 1997. In 2019, Maryland alone reported 694 accidents resulting in injury and 7 in fatality.
As a general reminder, Snyder warns Maryland residents never to drive distracted or impaired, and to maintain safe speed limits while being aware of their surroundings on the road. The “Move Over” law was put in place in 2010 and has been updated twice since then to keep all motorists and crews safe on US highways.