October is “Move Over Awareness” month in Maryland.
The campaign is aimed at promoting an expansion of the state’s “Move Over” law that went into effect on Oct. 1, 2022. The expanded law requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching any vehicle that is stopped or parked and displaying hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signs.
Previously, the law only applied when drivers were approaching law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and emergency response vehicles and equipment.
Maryland is the eighth state to expand its “Move Over Law” to include disabled vehicles.
“Moving over and slowing down when passing a vehicle stopped on the highway isn’t just a matter of following the law—it is about saving lives,” Maryland governor Larry Hogan said in a statement.
“This is especially critical to protect the crews and first responders who are working on the roads within inches of fast-moving traffic. We can all do our part to make sure that everyone gets where they’re going safely,” Hogan continued.
The law first went into effect in 2010. The law, that already included police cars, was expanded in 2014 to include tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks. The law was expanded again in October 2018 to include transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices.
State officials have said that moving over and slowing down when passing a vehicle stopped on the highway saves lives. A Reisterstown man and a Baltimore man were killed in separate incidents in 2019 as they tried to change a tire on the side of the road.
More recently, two AAA workers also lost their lives in roadside mishaps. One AAA contractor was hit and killed in July by a driver who didn’t move over while the contractor was helping a AAA member who had run out of fuel on Route 50 in Bowie. In another incident, a AAA contractor was hit and killed on the side of the road in Howard County after changing a member’s tire.
It’s been reported that a towing technician loses his or her life every six days on America’s roadways.
Last year, almost 1900 citations were issued for move over violations in Maryland.
Surveys by state transportation officials have shown that most drivers are not aware of the requirements of the “Move Over” law and the importance of slowing down when approaching vehicles stopped on the highway.
Penalties for violating Maryland’s Move Over Law
Violating the updated law is a misdemeanor that comes with a $110 fine and one point on a Marylander’s license. If the violation causes a crash, the fine is $150 and three points. If there is a death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.
If you’ve been involved in an Ocean City auto accident, a car accident attorney can help you with your case. An Ocean City car accident lawyer will review your case to determine how to obtain the best possible outcome for you. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience handling Ocean City, Maryland auto accident cases. The office is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh DUI legal needs. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.