BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Maryland Transportation Authority and state police are cracking down on Maryland’s Move Over Law. It requires motorists approaching an emergency vehicle while stopped on a highway to make a change to an available lane if possible.
Rick Ritter rode along with officers who are trying to educate drivers.
On I-95, with cars zipping by, Officer Richard Mossman conducts the most dangerous part of his job: pulling over drivers on the highway with just a little room to spare.
“It’s very scary,” he said. “You just never know.”
Maryland’s Move Over Law came into effect in 2010. The law requires drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle using flashing lights to change into a lane adjacent to the vehicle or to slow to a safe speed.
In October 2010, Maryland State Trooper Jacqueline Kline was hit by a driver who failed to obey the Move Over Law. The impact was so strong it sent her flying into the air and into the back of another trooper’s windshield. Luckily she survived.
“It’s the most frustrating thing that I’ve ever dealt with,” Kline said.
Years later, Mossman says there’s still plenty of violators.
“You don’t want the worst to happen,” Mossman. “Not enough people move over at all.”
Parked behind another traffic stop, Mossman and the Maryland Department of Transportation gave WJZ a front seat view.
In just 20 minutes, Mossman had no problem finding violators.
“I was on the left shoulder. You didn’t move over. You blew right by us,” Mossman informed one driver.
One after the other.
“The reason I stopped you is for not moving over for law enforcement on the shoulder working,” Mossman said to another driver.
Mossman says he notices dozens, if not hundreds, of drivers each day violating the Move Over Law, and most of them say they aren’t familiar with it.
Mossman issued several warnings and one citation with WJZ on board.
He says education is the only way to drive the message home.
“I’m one person, trying to educate one stop at a time,” Mossman said.
Violation of the Move Over Law is a primary offense with a $110 fine and one point.
If the violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.
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