Maryland expands ‘Move Over’ law to apply to all vehicles

May 25, 2022

Keith Goble

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The state of Maryland soon will expand their requirement to move over for vehicles along the roadside.

Maryland statute now requires drivers to change lanes further away from emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and service vehicles parked next to the road. Violators face fines up to $500.

The rule was initially approved in 2010. Modifications were made in 2014 and 2018 to include more vehicles.

Gov. Larry Hogan has signed into law a bill to again expand the state’s “Move Over” rule to protect all roadways users. Specifically, the new rule requires drivers to move over or slow down while approaching a disabled vehicle displaying hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals or warning lights.

The bill, SB147, passed the Senate with unanimous consent. House lawmakers followed suit on a 111-20 vote.

Expanded rule necessary

Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery, recently told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee it is important for the legislature to take action to make roadways safer.

“We all know how dangerous it can be on the side of the road with our flashers on. Culturally, it’s important that we start to advise our fellow constituents, fellow Marylanders, that the appropriate response it to move over to make space. Make sure people feel safe along the side of the road under difficult circumstances,” Waldstreicher said.

AAA Mid-Atlantic supports the expansion of the rule.

“Being on the side of the road is dangerous for everyone and we have seen that even those who the law is already intended to protect are not exempt from the perils on the road,” AAA’s Ragina Ali said recently in prepared testimony.

There were 1,847 citations issued throughout the state for move over violations in fiscal year 2021, according to a fiscal and policy note attached to the bill.

Maryland becomes the eighth state to include disabled motorists in their move over law, AAA reports. The list includes Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

The new Maryland law takes effect on Oct. 1. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Maryland.

 

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.