BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Members of a Maryland Senate committee are scheduled to hear testimony Tuesday on expanding the state’s “Slow Down, Move Over Law” to include all disabled vehicles with hazards lights.

Under current state law, drivers are required to move over for vehicles providing roadside assistance or slow down if it is not safe to change lanes. Two bills filed in the Maryland General Assembly would require motorists to make these adjustments for all disabled vehicles.

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Representatives from AAA Mid-Atlantic are scheduled to appear at a hearing of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to testify in favor of the measure, the organization said Tuesday.

“I am honored to sponsor this life-saving measure on behalf of AAA Mid-Atlantic and Maryland motorists,” said Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery County), sponsor of Senate Bill 147. “Tragically, the number of incidents where disabled motorists are injured or killed on the side of the road, or when first responders are struck while serving others, continues to increase.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic said two drivers died in separate 2019 incidents while trying to change a tire on the side of the road.

“Being on the side of the road is dangerous for everyone and we have seen that even those who the law is already intended to protect are not exempt from the perils on the road,” said Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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A corresponding bill, HB 105, is filed in the House of Delegates.

“This bill is the logical next step in expanding the life-saving Move Over, Slow Down legislation we have had on the books in Maryland for a while now,” said Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince George’s County). “This law will protect the lives of motorists who get stranded on the side of the road. I am proud to introduce it this year.”

Last October, AAA Mid-Atlantic released a survey showing 75% of police, emergency medical services personnel, tow truck drivers and roadside workers said drivers in Maryland don’t follow the current law.

More than 90% said they have nearly been hit by a vehicle or had their life threatened because a driver failed to move over, according to the survey.

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The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Brandon Weigel