Last year, Maryland State Police said 38 trooper vehicles were struck on the side of the road. With numbers like this, officials said they are cracking down on the Slow Down, Move Over Law.
So far this year, either 17 Maryland State Troopers themselves or their vehicles have been struck while on the side of the road.
“One officer, whether it’s a trooper, a city officer or a deputy, just one officer getting hit on the shoulder is too many,” Andrew Hendershot, First Class Trooper, Maryland State Police, said.
Maryland State Police are enforcing the Slow Down, Move Over Law, which says that if an emergency responder is on the shoulder with their emergency lights on, you MUST move over to the next lane.
“If I don’t feel like they can safely make a lane change, then I’m not going to stop them. There has to be clearly open space for them to make a lane change, and if they don’t make the lane change, then we’ll stop them,” Hendershot said.
“It’s not just the law. It’s also just a good idea,” Corporal Lee Cain, Maryland State Police, said.
Maryland State Police said it’s not just for their own safety following this law gives anyone on the side of the road one less worry.
“It puts those emergency responders [and] tow truck drivers at risk, but it also puts you at risk if you don’t move over. It increases your likeliness of getting in an accident,” Cpl. Cain said.
Police said distracted driving could also be a factor when people violate the law.
“Nothing is more important than somebody’s life, so it really is a selfish act to text or to be looking down at your phone and not be paying attention to what you’re doing,” Cpl. Cain said.
If you don’t obey, it may cost you; there’s a $110 fine for people who are found breaking the Slow Down, Move Over Law.
Throughout the state, nearly 1,200 citations have been given out this year for breaking the Slow Down, Move Over Law.