BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s “move over” law has been in effect since 2010, but nine years later state police officials said they continue to remind motorists about the law — even a year after it was expanded beyond police cars to other emergency vehicles and tow trucks.
So the state police and MDSHA are working together to remind motorists about the law with outreach this month.
Reminder! Move Over law helps protect first responders, motorists and employees from the dangers of being roadside. When you see red, yellow or amber flashing lights on transportation, service & utility vehicles, as well as waste & recycling trucks, MOVE OVER a lane or SLOW DOWN. pic.twitter.com/kVXa4kscFM
— MDTA (@TheMDTA) October 1, 2019
All 50 states have enacted some version of the “Move Over” law, but according to the national poll, 71% of Americans haven’t heard of the move over laws. So far in 2019, 29 officers have been killed nationally in traffic-related incidents.
Maryland’s Move Over law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching an emergency, utility, transportation vehicle or tow truck with flashing lights.
“This movement should only be done if another lane in the same direction is available and the move can be made safely and without impeding other traffic. If moving to another lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle is not possible, the law requires drivers to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions,” officials said.
In Maryland, the numbers of move over law-related citations have dramatically dropped since the law was first enacted. In 2014 the law was expanded from including just police cars, but tow trucks, fire trucks and EMS. Then last year the law was expanded again to include transportation, service and utility vehicles as well as waste and recycling trucks.
“Since the law expanded in 2014, troopers went from issuing 5,408 citations and 12,179 warnings to 1,349 citations and 5,677 warnings in 2018 for move over violations,” officials said in a press release.
More than 17,000 motorists have received citations or warnings from police for violating the Move Over law in Maryland since last year.
“Since the law went into effect last October, more than 17,000 motorists have received citations or warnings for violating the law on Maryland roads,” said Lt. Col. Frank Lioi, Maryland State Police Field Operations Bureau Chief. “We will continue to protect those that work on and alongside our roads and enforce this life-saving law.”
From 2014 to 2018, 3,400 people were injured and 46 people were killed in work zone crashes across the state.