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Maryland Broadens Its Traffic Laws Regarding Moving Over One or More Lanes

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Effective Saturday, October 1, 2022, and in effect until further notice, Maryland's traffic laws will have a broader level of enforcement.

Lieutenant Jason Deater of Frederick County's Sheriff's Office remarked that the change in law means that drivers must now decide to either move over a lane or slow down their vehicle when approaching any vehicle that happens to be parked along the side of the road and bears signals that the parked vehicle is dealing with an emergency, such as setting out hazard lights or firing off a road flare.

Before this expansion of the traffic law, the state demanded that drivers were only obligated to move over or decelerate for emergency vehicles. That is to say, drivers only needed to worry about firetrucks, police vehicles, and tow trucks. Lt. Deater added that this law intended to keep all drivers safe and to diminish the dangers that arise while stopped on a roadway shoulder. He remarked that there is an unfortunately high number of incidents where vehicles are struck while parked on the side of the road in the hopes that emergency services can help them out, contributing to sizeable damage and repair bills.

Any driver who fails to abide by the law faces punishment in the form of a citation, a fine of $110, and one entire point on the driver's license. The law was first enacted in 2010, receiving amendments to add more vehicles to the list in 2014 and 2018, as well as this year. This legislation also makes Maryland the eighth state to consider all road users in its "Move Over" laws. The other conditions with "comprehensive" approaches to their "Move Over" laws are Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.