Here at the Scoop, much of our focus is on proposed legislation…mainly the process of how a bill becomes law.
Each session, an average of 2,500 bills are proposed. Of those, about 30% make it through readings, hearings, committees, subcommittees, crossover, power breakfasts at Chick and Ruth’s, to vote, then on to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
With so many new laws each year, many fly under the radar of the general public. What good is a law if people don’t know it exists?
In 2010, the “Move Over” law was one of the 810 bills signed into law. This is an important law, centered on keeping emergency personnel safe by requiring motorists to slow down and if they’re able, to move over out of the lane adjacent to the shoulder when an emergency vehicle is stopped with signal lights activated.
Unfortunately, “Move Over” wasn’t the highest profile law that went into effect on October 1, 2010. That same day, the ‘hands free cellphone” law went on the books, and dominated the news cycle.
A year and a half later, many Marylanders are unaware that slowing down and moving over is not just a common courtesy, it’s actually the law. Failing to obey this law can result in a fine of $110 and one point. If the driver’s failure to move over leads to an accident, it results in a fine of $150 and three points…and if that accident results in serious injury or death, the fine is $750 and three points.
As part of our on-going campaign to make Maryland roadways safer, MAIF has teamed up with the Maryland State Police to help raise awareness of this law. On March 21, MAIF Executive Director M. Kent Krabbe joined Maryland State Police Superintendent Marcus Brown to announce an initiative to raise awareness of the “Move Over” law. MAIF has provided decals which will be applied to law enforcement and emergency vehicles statewide. The decals read, “If I’m on the shoulder: Slow Down. Move over. It’s the law.”
MAIF is proud to work with the Maryland State Police as well as other outstanding police and emergency agencies across the state to help spread awareness of Maryland’s “Move Over” law.
Here are some comments from Mr. Krabbe and Superintendent Brown regarding “Move Over” at the press conferences held at the Pikesville Volunteer Fire Department and Maryland State Police College Park Barracks on Wednesday, March 21.
M. Kent Krabbe, MAIF Executive Director:
“MAIF is committed not only to insuring Maryland drivers, but to helping to insure the safety of Maryland’s roadways. Our law enforcement and emergency personnel risk their lives every day working toward that same goal. Each one of us has a responsibility to make sure that they are able to perform their duty safely”
“As an insurance company, MAIF has a vested interest in reducing the number of accidents on our roads. Fewer accidents mean lower rates for Maryland drivers, but more importantly it also means safer roads.”
“It is crucial that Marylanders know about and obey this law. Traffic related incidents were the leading cause of police officer fatalities (from 1997 – 2010).”
Maryland State Police Superintendent Marcus L. Brown:
“As Maryland State Police Superintendent, I want to make May, “Move Over” Month in Maryland for all of our law enforcement agencies and fire departments, statewide.”
“Today, we unveil a bumper sticker, made possible by our partners at MAIF, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund. The sticker is designed to remind motorists of the “Move Over” law. For the next month, you will see this sticker adorning the bumpers of police and emergency vehicles statewide.”
“Over the past decade, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed, nationwide at roadsides, after being struck by vehicles.”