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Maryland's expanded 'Move Over Law' starts Saturday

AAA discusses 'Move over' law expansion set to take effect
AAA discusses 'Move over' law expansion set to take effect 02:53

BALTIMORE -- Maryland's Move Over law expands on the roadways starting on Oct. 1.

The law requires drivers to make a lane change or slow down when approaching any stopped, standing or parked cars with hazard lights or warning signals.

"The intent of the Move Over law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for motorists, along with police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and utility workers working on Maryland roads," according to the Maryland State Police. "It is hoped that drivers will become more aware of police and emergency workers and others stopped along the road and move away from them or slow down as they pass by the traffic stop or incident scene."

Anyone caught violating the law will face a misdemeanor charge carrying a $110 fine and one point on your 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 see a driver on the side of the road with their hazard lights on, and/or their emergency flares, it will become the law in Maryland that a driver must slow down or move over like you would for emergency personnel," said Regina Ali, from AAA.

The original Move Over Law went into effect in 2010. In 2014, the law was expanded to not only include police cars but also tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks as well. 

'Move Over Law' expands for Maryland drivers starting Saturday 00:23

On Oct. 1, 2018, the law expanded again to transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices. 

Maryland is the eighth state in the U.S. to expand its move over law to include any vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights on or road flares displayed 

According to State Police, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers. From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were killed in traffic-related incidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation said. In Maryland, more than 4,000 people were injured and 53 people were killed in work zone crashes between 2014 and 2019.

Since the law initially expanded in 2014, troopers went from issuing 5,408 citations and 12,179 warnings that year to 886 citations and 4,030 warnings in 2021 for move-over violations. Through Sept. 27, 2022, troopers have issued 622 citations and 3,215 warnings for similar violations this year.  

"Not only is it our hope this law provides protection for drivers on the side of the road, it should also further our police and our tow truck providers responding," Ali said.

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