|Move Over, Slow Down - It's the Law|
|By Member Joyce Shry|
|May 16, 2019|
With the onset of upcoming holidays and summer fun, we feel it necessary to remind everyone about the ‘MOVE OVER’ Law which was intended to increase safety for fire and EMS personnel, police, and bicyclists. Effective October 1, 2018 Maryland’s Move Over law now expands to include transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices. These vehicles join the list of protected vehicles under the State’s current Move Over law, which included emergency response and law enforcement vehicles, as well as tow trucks.
Maryland State Police are reminding motorists to be aware of the new traffic law that require drivers to ‘move over,’ if possible, and are aimed at increasing safety for police, fire and emergency medical services personnel working on Maryland roadsides, as well as those riding bicycles or scooters.
The law requires drivers approaching from the rear an emergency vehicle using visual signals while stopped on a highway to, if possible, ‘make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle.’ The intent of the ‘move over’ law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for those working along Maryland roads. Safety is our number one priority. Those who work along active roadways, daily and with every glance away from the road, each time a driver reads a text message, answers a phone call, or fails to move over jeopardizes their safety.
It is hoped drivers will become more aware of police and emergency workers stopped along the road and move away from them or slow down as they pass by the traffic stop or incident scene.
Violation of the ‘move over’ law is a primary offense with a fine of $110 and one point. If the violation contributes to a traffic crash, the fine is $150 and three points. If the violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points according to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (www.roads.maryland.gov).
It is imperative that drivers stay alert for these types of situations.