Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 19, 2013

State police reminding motorists to ‘move over’

Trooper critically injured along state Route 100

CUMBERLAND — After one trooper was struck and critically injured and another trooper’s car was destroyed within four days, Maryland State Police are reminding drivers about the state’s “move over” law, which is intended to increase safety for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel when they are working along the road.    

State troopers across Maryland will conduct coordinated traffic initiatives on Oct. 21, reminding motorists of the importance of the law. Special enforcement operations will be under way in every area of the state.

Early on the morning of Oct. 6, Trooper Jacqueline Kline was struck by a passing vehicle while she was assisting another trooper on the shoulder of state Route 100 in Anne Arundel County.

The driver failed to move over as he passed the two marked police cars with their emergency lights activated. Kline remains hospitalized in critical condition.  

While investigating a crash on Interstate 695 in Baltimore County on Oct. 12, Tfc. Justin Updegraff’s marked patrol car was destroyed when a driver failed to move over or slow down. Updegraff was outside his vehicle and not injured.

The intent of the law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for police officers, firefighters and emergency rescue personnel working on Maryland roads.

The law requires drivers approaching from the rear of a stopped emergency vehicle with it lights activated to change into an available lane not next to the emergency vehicle.

This movement should only be done if safe to do so. When there is no available lane for drivers to move over to, drivers are required to slow down as they pass the emergency scene.   

Violation of the law is a primary offense with a fine of $110 and one point. If the violation contributes to a traffic crash, the fine is $150 and three points. 

If the violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.

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