Maryland’s Move Over Law Protects Workers and First RespondersOctober 24, 2019
Safety officials created the Move Over law to protect first responders from oncoming traffic when they are parked by the side of the road assisting other motorists. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration, the law is being expanded to include transportation, service and utility vehicles, and waste and recycling trucks that have their lights flashing. Too many motorists fail to change lanes or slow down when approaching a stopped vehicle. This caused a spike in serious accidents involving first responders and other service and utility workers.
Lawmakers expected the number of roadside collisions to go down after drivers became aware of the Move Over law, and the $500 fine drivers would face if they failed to obey the law. However, after 12 months, police reported an increase in violations. Police hoped that more motorists would take the law seriously, regardless of the type of vehicle that is stopped. Police understand that it is not always possible to change lanes by the time they reach the stopped car, particularly if traffic is heavy, but there is no reason why a motorist cannot slow down to a safe speed.
Number of Violations Issued in 2019 is Discouraging
According to Maryland State Police, state troopers have issued 1,347 citations and 4,979 warnings so far this year for Move Over violations. These numbers are comparable to the number of citations and warnings issued in the entire year of 2018. Head of Maryland’s State Highway Administration (SHA) finds these numbers unacceptable. While preparing to give a live interview about the importance of complying with the law, he received a call, informing him that one of his employees had been hit by a car along the Capital Beltway’s outer loop near Connecticut Avenue. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, but the incident was an important reminder that these accidents are preventable if motorists obey the law.
From 2014 to 2018, over 3,400 people were hurt and 46 people were killed in work zone accidents in the state of Maryland. Since 2016, 100 traffic accidents involved the SHA’s Coordinated Highway Action Response Team, making roadside assistance one of the most dangerous jobs in Maryland. Despite these statistics, many motorists say that they are not aware of the law, or how dangerous it is for first responders when motorists fail to move over or slow down. Lawmakers are considering steeper fines and equipping emergency vehicles with video cameras that can capture Move Over violations.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Injured in Move Over Violations
If you are a worker that was injured in an accident involving another motorist who failed to obey the Move Over law, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve, based on the nature of your injury. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.