Statewide – On October 1, 2019 the one-year anniversary of the expanded “Move Over” law, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is urging motorists to be extra vigilant to decrease roadside injuries and fatalities. Since October 1, 2018, more than 17,000 motorists have been pulled over by Maryland State Police for violating the “Move Over” law.
“This law is so important because our courageous law enforcement officers, paramedics, MDOT SHA crews, and service responders are working within inches of moving vehicles traveling at high speeds on our busy roadways,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater. “It ensures that drivers get to their destinations safely, and the men and women who work on our roadways get to go home to their families safely, at the end of each day.”
From 2014 to 2018, more than 3,400 people were injured, and 46 people were killed in work zone crashes in Maryland. Since 2016, there have been 100 SHA Coordinated Highway Action Response Team (CHART) strikes, including 16 this year.
“We must all obey the law and give these workers who are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, spouses, and friends the room they need to do their jobs safely,” said Slater.
The expanded “Move Over” law added service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, to the types of vehicles that motorists are required to move over or slow down for when stopped on roadsides. MDOT SHA and the Maryland State Police urge all motorists to move over when approaching these and emergency, law enforcement, tow truck, and transportation vehicles when they are stopped, standing, or parked on a highway with their red, amber, or yellow lights flashing. Motorists who violate this law face citations and points on their driving records.
Law enforcement officials issued 13,436 warnings and 3,764 citations from October 2018 through September 2019 to motorists for violating the “Move Over” law on Maryland roadways. Of those citations, 24 involved crashes.
“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 who work on and alongside our roads and enforce this life-saving law.”
The law defines service vehicles as “vehicles of federal, State, or local agencies; vehicles of public service companies; and vehicles of persons performing governmental functions under a contract with any federal, State, or local government.”
If a driver is unable to safely move over a lane when approaching these vehicles, the law requires them to “slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.”
Violating the law is a misdemeanor 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.
The original “Move Over” law in Maryland, passed in 2010, provided protection only for emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, and CHART trucks who provide motorists roadside assistance. In 2014, the law was extended to include tow truck drivers.
For more information on the “Move Over” law, visit www.roads.maryland.gov.