“Just slow down:” How moving over can save a life starting October

MARYLAND – We’re just 8 days a ways from Maryland’s Move Over law expansion taking place.

Originally the law required drivers to move over only for emergency vehicles. Now you have to move over for all vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Moving over could simply save a life and with this expansion to the law, it can take safety a long way, ensuring safety not only for drivers but pedestrians too.

“It’s critical for the preservation of life, our law enforcement officers are out here enforcing laws to protect our residents but we want to think ahead of that, we want to encourage residents to help us out a little bit,” says Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli.

The Law

Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli is talking about the Maryland Move Over Law. Since passing in 2010 it’s need has continued to grow.

Any vehicle that is on the side of the road with its hazards, flashers, or any type of warning signals, vehicles will be required 19 to move over into the adjacent lane,” says Sheriff Crisafulli.  “Just slow down, just slow down, but slow down and move over is a law for everyone,” adds Ocean City Fire Department Chief Richard Bowers.

Community Impact

Ocean City Fire Chief Richard Bowers says this law doesn’t just impact drivers, but also pedestrians who need to keep their eyes on the roadways. “We need to look out as drivers for pedestrians and pedestrians need to look out for vehicles and drivers too, if everyone maintains their situational awareness, looks left, looks right then left again we can save a lot of injuries,” says Chief Bowers.

Safety Tips

In just a few simple steps you can prevent those injuries: “Maintain your situational awareness, check your mirrors for cars behind you, and people beside you,” says Chief Bowers. “They want to pull off onto the shoulder as far as possible, off of the roadways with their flashers on, and try not to keep your back to traffic, if you have to be on the side of the road,” adds Sheriff Crisafulli.

Work Together

In order to really enforce the law, it’s going to take effort from everyone in the community. “We all have to do our role, safety is everyone’s responsibility, so whether you’re a driver, or whether you’re a law enforcement officer or whether you’re a stranded motorist safety is everyone’s responsibility, and everyone has to do their part to ensure everyone’s safety around us,” says Sheriff Crisafulli.

The best way to avoid roadway accidents is to look at the big picture, and scan the intersection. The Sheriff says all it takes is 1 or 2 seconds for an accident to happen, causing you not only to change the victim’s life forever but your own. He says it’s best to simply put your phones down and stay alert on the roads.

Chief Bowers says since the law was put into place there’s been an effective change on the roads. But with these expansions, he expects even more lives to be saved.

The consequences for not following the law can end in a hefty price tag.

Categories: Check It Out, Crime, Local News, Maryland