“Move Over” Law Protects Work Zone Employees

Posted on

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss Maryland's "Move Over" law to help protect workers from work zone accidents. Maryland Police are urging motorists to obey the “move over” law, after a tractor trailer struck several Maryland prison inmates who were working on the shoulder of the road. One of the inmates was killed, while three others were taken to a nearby hospital.

Unfortunately, work zone accidents are quite common, putting workers at serious risk of injuries. In fact, according to recent studies, a work zone accident occurs every five and a half minutes throughout the country.

As a result, local police are strictly enforcing the “move over” law, which urges drivers to slow down, use extra caution, and move to the next lane when approaching a work zone.

What the “Move Over” Law Is

The revised law, which officially went into effect on October 1st, is meant to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities that impact road workers, emergency medical technicians, and police. The law was recently expanded to include utility workers, sanitation workers, and any vehicle that has yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices.

Upon approaching a work zone, or a vehicle that has its red, yellow, or amber lights flashing, the law requires the motorist to slow down and move to a lane farther away from the work zone or parked vehicle.

However, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, motorists should only make a lane change if it is safe to do so, and it will not impede traffic. If it is unsafe to change lanes, the motorist must reduce his or her speed until they have reached a safe distance past the area.

Penalties for Violating “Move Over” Law

A failure to obey the “move over” law is considered a misdemeanor, which has the following penalties:

  • A $110 fine and the Motor Vehicle Administration will add a point to the motorist’s driver’s license
  • A $150 fine if the violation causes a car accident. If the violation results in a fatality or a serious injury, the fine will be $750. Three points will be added to the motorist’s drivers’ license.

In addition to enforcing the “move over” law, safety officials and law enforcement may need to increase awareness, since a national poll found that over 70 percent of Americans have not heard of the law. All 50 states have enacted a “move over” law.

Since September 10, there have been 19,620 citations issued, and an additional 64,345 warnings since October 1, 2010. In 2018 alone, there have been 1,269 citations written and 5,273 warnings issued to motorists who violated the “move over” law.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Work Zone Injuries

If you have been seriously injured while on the job after a motorist failed to move over or slow down when approaching a work zone, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Road workers and other emergency personnel are at risk of being seriously injured or killed by motorists who are driving too fast, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings. We will work tirelessly to obtain the maximum financial benefits you deserve for the injuries you sustained. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.