October has been declared as Move Over Awareness Month in recognition of an expanded law taking effect on Saturday to protect all road users.
The expanded Move Over Law (SB147) requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching any vehicle that is stopped or parked and displaying hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signs. The expanded law is in place to protect law enforcement, emergency responders, and any motorist who may encounter a roadside emergency and must stop near travel lanes. Maryland is the eighth state to expand its Move Over Law to include all disabled vehicles.
Previously, the Move Over Law applied only when approaching law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and emergency response vehicles and equipment. Last year, 1,847 citations were issued for move-over violations in Maryland.
Surveys by state transportation officials have shown that the overwhelming majority of drivers are unaware of the provisions of the Move Over Law and the importance of slowing down when approaching vehicles stopped on the highway.
MDOT and the Maryland State Police will continue to collaborate with federal, state, local, and grassroots partners on efforts to raise awareness of the expanded law. ‘Move Over or Slow Down’ messaging will be promoted on social media platforms as well as major roadways across the state.
“Moving over and slowing down when passing a vehicle stopped on the highway isn’t just a matter of following the law—it is about saving lives,” said Governor Hogan. “This is especially critical to protect the crews and first responders who are working on the roads within inches of fast-moving traffic. We can all do our part to make sure that everyone gets where they’re going safely.”