Maryland Lawmakers Expand the State’s “Move Over” Law

Over the past few decades, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Maryland roadside accidents. Some attribute this increase to the more prevalent role technology has taken in most American’s lives, which in turn has led to more instances of distracted driving. Regardless of the underlying cause, many roadside accidents involve police officers, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency workers who are carrying out their duties when they are struck by a passing motorist.

Thus, back in 2010, Maryland lawmakers passed the state’s ‘move over’ law to protect those most at risk of being struck by a distracted driver. Under Maryland Code § 21-405, motorists are prohibited from passing an emergency vehicle while going in the same direction without either safely changing lanes or slowing down “to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.”

Initially, Maryland’s ‘move over’ law applied only to tow trucks and emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. This offered some protection to these discrete classes of workers; however, the statute did not apply to non-emergency workers who still spent a significant amount of time along the side of the road.

Recently, however, Maryland lawmakers just expanded the state’s ‘move over’ law to include a handful of other vehicles, including transportation, service, and utility vehicles, as well as sanitation vehicles that have engaged their flashing lights. The new law took effect on October 1, 2018.

Three Killed in Fatal Roadside Accident

This most recent amendment to the Maryland ‘move over’ law came in the wake of dozens of fatal roadside accidents across the country involving utility workers and other roadside workers that were previously not covered by the previous phrasing of the law. Just a few weeks ago, three men were killed in a roadside accident.

According to a local news report, the three men were working in a ditch to restore power when a truck veered out of its lane and collided with all three men. The driver fled the scene, but was later found by police and charged with several serious offenses, including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and fleeing the scene of an accident.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Roadside Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland roadside accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While the Maryland ‘move over’ law only applies to the vehicles mentioned above, other theories of negligence may apply if you were involved in an accident not involving one of those vehicle types. The dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience assisting injury victims to aggressively pursue claims for compensation based on the injuries they have sustained. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Dismisses South-by-Southwest Drunk-Driving Case, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 2, 2018.

Can an Accident Victim’s Failure to Wear a Seatbelt Be Used Against Them in a Maryland Car Accident Case?, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 16, 2018.

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