Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 17, 2014

Move over

Make room for police, EMS vehicles

— Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

That’s by design. It offers the officer a small measure of protection from passing traffic when he stands next to the road at the side of the car he’s stopped.

It has been reported that more officers are killed or injured each year during the course of a traffic stop, except for car accidents and while performing arrests.

Police officers aren’t the only ones at risk. So are ambulance personnel, firefighters and others whose jobs require them to stop beside the road.

Many states — including Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia — have enacted so-called “move over” laws.

These laws require motorists approaching from the rear of an emergency vehicle using visual signals while stopped on a highway make a lane change if possible into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle.

If moving to another lane is not possible, the law requires drivers to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions. As of Oct. 1, the law will be expanded to protect tow service operators.

Maryland State Police have expanded their efforts to enforce and inform drivers about the law. During June, troopers issued 1,165 citations and 2,594 warnings. They explain the law to those they have pulled over, and some motorists say they are unaware of the law that took effect in Maryland in October 2010.

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.

A fine and points on your license are nothing, when compared to the knowledge you have claimed the life of a police officer, firefighter or EMS worker simply because you weren’t paying attention when you drove past.

Please do pay attention. Move to another lane if possible, or at least slow down.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014