Move over, drivers! A new law just went into effect in Maryland. The law requires drivers to slow down or change lanes when vehicles are parked or stranded on the side of the road. The law is aimed at reducing the number of roadside collisions involving stranded motorists, as well as those who come to their aid. This includes protecting any vehicle stopped or parked on a highway or its shoulder with its hazard lights on or with road flares, traffic cones, or other caution signals out.
With the new law in place, drivers must move over when approaching emergency, law enforcement, tow trucks, utility, and transportation vehicles that are stopped, standing, or parked on a highway with lights flashing. This also includes hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals, including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs. If moving over is not possible, drivers need to slow down.
Previously in Maryland, the Move Over Law applied only when approaching law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and emergency response vehicles and equipment. Now the law has expanded to keep all motorists safe.
A bill co-sponsor, Senator Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Silver Spring), stated during a hearing of Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “We all know how dangerous it can be on the side of the road with our flashers on.” Senator Waldstreicher also added that “Culturally, it’s important that we start to advise our fellow constituents and fellow Marylanders that the appropriate response is to move over, to make space, to make sure people feel safe on the side of the road when they’re under difficult circumstances.” The goal of the legislation is to reduce roadside injuries and eventually have zero roadway fatalities.
If you do not abide by the law, drivers could be issued a fine starting at $110 as well as issue one point on your driver’s license. In the event that there’s a crash stemming from the failure to move over, the fine is $150 and three points. If someone is seriously injured or dies, the fine becomes $750 and is three points on a driver’s license.
Written by associate Pavel Glazunov.