Maryland Expands “Move Over” Law

hazards on side of highway

The highway is a risky place for pedestrians, with cars blowing past at upwards of 80 miles per hour. According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, pedestrians who are hurt or killed on interstate highways make up 10% of all pedestrian fatalities each year in the United States. Many who are injured or killed work for emergency service teams that strive to save people’s lives. As such, there are laws throughout the country requiring drivers to give these responders more room to do their jobs.

Maryland’s own “Move Over” Law requires drivers to change lanes to make room for police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel responding to car crashes. In October, the law expanded to include more types of service vehicles that drivers must make room for when they are on the side of the road.

Maryland Drivers Must Move Over for Stopped Service Vehicles

Move over laws force drivers to make more room for people working on the side of the road. In Maryland, violating the law is considered a primary offense that can result in points against your license and monetary fines. Originally, the law named police, firefighters, and EMT staff as those who must be protected; recently, more service vehicles and personnel were added to the list.

As of October 2018, drivers in Maryland must move over a lane or reduce speed for:

  • Transportation vehicles
  • Service and utility vehicles
  • Waste and recycling trucks with their flashers on

The new law aims to protect more groups of people from becoming highway fatalities.

What Should I Do?

As a driver, all the law requires is for you to move over a lane away from the stopped vehicle when it is safe to do so. If there is no space to get into the adjacent lane, slow down to a reasonable speed that is safe for existing conditions as you pass the stopped vehicle or vehicles.

Penalties for Violating the Move Over Law

Drivers can face steep penalties for violating the law. A move over violation is a misdemeanor crime that can result in a fine of $110 and 1 point against your license upon a first offense. A person who violates the move over law and crashes will face a fine of $150 and 3 points against his license. If the violation results in a death or serious bodily injury, the driver will face a $750 fine.

Call Hillel Traub to Fight Your Traffic Charge

Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub is a seasoned traffic attorney who has helped Baltimore-area residents resolve legal issues for decades. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, he has the litigation experience you need to achieve a favorable outcome in your traffic case. Call (410) 580-1100 for a free consultation or complete our contact form.

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