Drivers beware: Maryland's 'Move Over' law expands next week

Maryland’s “Move Over” law will soon apply to service vehicles parked along a roadway.

If you’ve never heard of the “Move Over” law,” you’re not alone. A recent poll sponsored by the National Safety Commission showed that 71 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with these kinds of laws. But, nota bene: Ignorance of the law won’t protect you from a $110 fine for violating it.

Beginning Monday, drivers should attempt to move over to a far lane if they see a service vehicle parked on the shoulder of a road. That includes transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks that have their lights flashing.

Under current law, drivers should already move over for police cars, ambulances and tow trucks that are parked along or in roadways.

If drivers cannot safely move over, the law requires them to slow down to a safer speed.

The newly expanded law is meant to protect people who work along the side of the road, according to a news release from the Maryland State Highway Administration.

At least three SHA employees have died in recent years while working on highways.

“The intent of the move over law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for police officers, firefighters, emergency rescue personnel, tow service operators and all of our public safety personnel working along Maryland roads,” said Captain Dan Pickett, commander of the Washington Metro Troop for the Maryland State Police.

The penalty for violating the law is $110 and one point against the driver’s license. The fine is $750 if the violation results in death or serious injury.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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