As of October first of this year, Maryland has an expanded “move over” law aimed at curbing service worker injuries alongside the state’s roads.
Prior to the expansion of the law, drivers had to move over a lane or slow their speed when they encountered a first responder vehicle (such as a police car, ambulance, fire truck or tow truck) parked alongside the road. The law now gives the same level of roadway deference to utility crews and transportation and service vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks that have their flashing lights engaged.
Those violating the “move over” law face fines up to $110 and a point against their driver’s license. The fine increases dramatically – to $750 – if the failure to move over results in an injury-causing or fatal accident.
Ironically, in the early morning hours on the very day the “move over” law was expanded, a subcontractor working with the Maryland State Highway Administration was struck by a vehicle in an apparent hit and run accident. The injured worker was hospitalized in critical condition following the accident, and police have not yet reported an arrest in the case.
Several contractors were hit and killed along Maryland roads in the past few years while working with the Maryland State Highway Administration performing utility work, road construction and more. The purpose of the “move over” law is to provide a safe barrier in which first responders and utility crews can do their work without fear of impact from fast-moving vehicles.