Maryland’s Move Over Law

Last October, a little known new law with a catchy name – the “Move Over Law” – went into effect in Maryland. The law tries to deal with a problem that won’t go away: the safety risk in emergency situations to police, fire, emergency medical services personnel, and, not insignificantly, at least to me – the rest of us.

This new Maryland law requires drivers approaching from the rear of an emergency vehicle using visual signals while stopped on a highway to, if possible, “move over” one or more lanes. If moving to another lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle is not possible, the law requires drivers to ‘slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.’

I don’t see a ton of tickets being generated from this new law. But, theoretically, violation of the “move over law” is a primary offense with a fine of $110 and one point. If the violation contributes to a traffic crash, the fine is $150 and three points.

Like most of us, I panic a bit when an emergency vehicle with a siren comes zooming past. But the key, clearly, is to get out of the way.