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Maryland Police Declare May ‘Move Over Month’

The law requires motorists to move over or slow down if they see emergency personnel on the side of the road.

In an effort to increase awareness and ensure the safety of emergency personnel, the Maryland State Police have declared May “Move Over Month.”

The Move Over initiative is being used to remind motorists that if they see emergency personnel on the side of the road they need to switch lanes or slow down. Many drivers remain unaware of the law that went into effect in October 2010.

“We thought that because of a couple incidents in the beginning of the year that injured a couple of police officers, the Move Over Law was not something that our motorists were familiar with enough,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police spokeswoman. “These two incidents could have been prevented if the motorist had slowed down and moved over when they saw the situation that was overhead.”

An during a routine traffic stop on Maryland Route 665 near Riva Road in the Parole section of Annapolis. The officer was hit walking back to his cruiser.

To help promote Move Over Month, police officers are displaying a decal in their back window that reads: “If I’m on the Shoulder: Slow Down. Move Over.” The sticker should remind approaching cars of the law.

Those who fail to obey the Move Over Law could face serious monetary consequences. According to the Maryland State Police, violating the Move Over law is a primary offense with a fine of $110 and one point. 

If the motorist’s violation contributes to a traffic crash, the fine is $150 and three points. If the violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in death or serious injury, the fine escalates to $750 and three points.

The purpose of the Move Over Law is to protect emergency personnel. While Russo said the law does not specifically refer to construction workers, drivers should still use caution when they see state highway workers on the road.

“The Move Over Law’s intent is to provide that extra barrier of safety for any of our emergency responders, so police officers and firefighters,” Russo said.

“Also, the law does not pertain to our state highway workers, but they should be considered emergency workers when you see them on the side of the road with their yellow lights blinking”

All motorists should slow down or move over if they see emergency personnel on the side of the road to ensure everyone’s safety, and to avoid a hefty fine.

DioDingo May 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM
It said speed limit correct. So in fact if you were going 36 in a 30 zone you were breaking the law. As petty as it maybe, the facts are still the facts. 10pm- kids are out and you can't see because the sun is down. 10pm- maybe you had been drinking at happy hour and just now going home. You broke the law and he had the right to stop you. I got a ticket for 4 over in NC.
Calique May 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Yeah, it DOES have to do with safety. No need to be bitter, you're just mad cuz you got caught. Keep this incident in mind when you're going 80 down rt 100 (UNSAFE), or 40 in a 30 (ALSO UNSAFE).
DioDingo May 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM
@Dick Hertz- don't drive, move to an other state or country and then you can not worry about all those pesky laws and taxes we pay to keep living in this wonderful country. Maybe you could just head to Montana and write angry letters to police/politicians about how they are wronging you by keeping the country moving forward and safe.
Richard Hertz May 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Baloney. It's all about money. If speeding is so unsafe, why are cops allowed to do it (regardless of whether they're responding to a call or not....it's a rare occurrence to see a cop doing the speed limit...ever).
Danielmarxx February 28, 2013 at 07:55 AM
That's exactly right. They must all be cut from the Obama cloth. And then there is talking on the cell phone while driving law. What a joke that is. Every time one passes me on 70 at 90 mph he's eating a do-nut (what a shock). drinking a hot beverage and talking on the cell phone. Probably make plans for the next softball tournament.

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