Are There Ways to Fight a Violation of the Move Over Law?
Move Over laws are critical to ensure the safety of police officers, emergency responders, sanitation workers, tow truck drivers, and others who spend considerable time on the side of the road. Working on the roadside is extremely risky — especially on highways where drivers blow past at 60-70 miles or more per hour. Since many lives were being lost when drivers failed to give people on the shoulder space, all 50 states adopted laws requiring drivers to move over one lane or slow down significantly when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle.
States have had Move Over laws for years, but many people are still unaware of them. Recently, Maryland’s own Move Over law expanded to include more types of service vehicles. If you’re not aware of how the law has changed, you could face a greater risk of violating it. If you’re pulled over for failing to change lanes when passing a stopped vehicle, you could face a fine and points against your license. Your traffic lawyer can take measures to challenge the citation you received.
How does Maryland’s Move Over Law Work?
Did you know that a recent poll by the National Safety Commission revealed that about 71% of Americans were unaware of Move Over laws? Not knowing a law exists is not a defense for violating it. Maryland drivers are expected to move over a lane when approaching the following types of vehicles on the side of the road:
- Police cars
- Tow trucks
- Waste and recycling
Usually, these cars will have their lights flashing to warn drivers they’re stopped. The law requires you to slow down to a safe speed if you can’t get over a lane. It’s critical to protect people on the side of the road, especially those who work on the roadside or spend a considerable amount of time there, like emergency responders.
What are the Penalties for Violating the Move Over Law?
In Maryland, you can face a fine of $110, and the Maryland MVA may assess one point against your license if you’re found guilty of violating the Move Over law. Additionally, if your failure to change lanes caused an accident, your fine could increase to $150, and the MVA may assess up to three points.
One to three points might not sound like many; however, over time these points add up and could lead to a more severe license suspension down the road. Avoid any possibility that this may happen by working with a knowledgeable traffic lawyer in Baltimore like Hillel Traub.
How Can I Fight the Ticket for Violating the “Move Over” Law?
There may be a few defenses for your violation of the Move Over law. Defending your case may resemble defending other traffic offenses. Some approaches you might take to show that you’re not guilty of violating this law include:
- Challenging the officer’s opinion
- Challenging the officer’s evidence
- Explaining why you were unable to comply without endangering others
- Presenting evidence that the violation was a “mistake of fact”
Generally, it’s best to work with an attorney to handle the investigation of your case. He may be able to uncover evidence that works in your favor, such as footage from a police dashcam. Ultimately, your lawyer’s goal is to have your charge dismissed or reduced to a less serious charge. When it comes to traffic tickets, the goal is also to avoid paying the court exorbitant fees.
Contact Attorney Hillel Traub Today for Traffic Citation Defense
A few points here and there can take their toll on your driving record. Eventually, you might lose your license over a few seemingly harmless traffic violations. Not being able to drive in Maryland brings serious hardships, and may even impact your employment. Before the worst consequences appear on the horizon, you should contact an attorney for guidance on resolving your traffic matter.
Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub has experience as a former Assistant Attorney General for the MVA and puts this experience to work for you. His knowledge of how the organization decides whom to punish, and how, can significantly benefit your case. Hillel Traub provides close, personal attention to each case, giving you the feel of working for a boutique firm while achieving big results. Call (410) 580-1100 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.