Why Does Maryland Have a Slow Down Move Over Law?
This Photo is from an incident that occurred at 9 am this morning not far from us in York County PA., and happened to a Battalion Chief from the York Area United Fire and Rescue Department. Luckily there was no one killed or injured in the incident but it is a harsh reminder of why we need and have this law. As first responders we do NOT BLOCK LANES AND CLOSE ROADS to cause any undue hardship during your commutes, but we do it for our safety because these incidents occur to often.
WHAT IS THE SLOW DOWN MOVE OVER LAW?
Keeping up with the new Maryland laws can be difficult and confusing, so we’d like to keep you informed about the laws that impact your driving. Oftentimes, Marylanders are arrested for laws they did not even know existed. Some are charged with penalties and fines they did not know were associated with a law, like extra jail time and larger fines. The Law passed October 1, 2014, and you are required by the Maryland state law to move over one empty lane for emergency vehicles on the side of the road, including tow trucks and vehicle assistance.
You are required by STATE LAW to move over for emergency vehicles 1 empty lane when possible AND if a lane merge is not possible or the road is a one-lane road, you are required to slow down to a reasonable speed limit based on the conditions of the road at that time.
Emergency vehicles include:
Medical & Rescue vehicles
Tow Trucks/Vehicle Assistance
WILL YOU REALLY BE PULLED OVER?
Yes, it was stated that in 2013, a total of 2,444 citations were issued to drivers “for illegally approaching an emergency vehicle from the rear.” Officers, especially State Troopers, are cracking down on driving laws on the highways and if you do not move over, you will face a fine and potential points. As with most driving laws, this is a primary offense and they will not hesitate to fine you.
SO WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES AND FINES FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW
You will be charged a FINE of $110 and ONE point if you are pulled over and cited for illegally approaching an emergency vehicle from the rear.
If you do not move over 1 lane and cause an accident, you face a FINE OF $150 and THREE points.
If the crash results in serious injury or death, then you will be FINED $750 and THREE points with potential for manslaughter in the event of a death.
Fines and Points can be higher for additional offenses!
This is from the York Area United Fire and Rescue Department
This morning one of our Command vehicles was struck while on the scene of an accident on interstate 83. Our vehicle was parked on the shoulder with all emergency lighting activated, and the driver was out of the vehicle. We are fortunate that there were no injuries. Please make sure to use caution when driving on wet roadways, and drive carefully in the area of emergency vehicles.