Md. first responders plead with drivers to move over

ELKRIDGE, Md. – Standing next to a mock crash site that included a tractor-trailer tipped over on its side, first responders from across Maryland issued a plea to drivers Thursday to follow the law and move over when they see emergency crews on the side of the road.

“We’ve seen police officers and fire apparatus struck,” said Scott Yinger, a division chief with the Maryland State Highway Administration. “The frequency of which this is happening is truly unacceptable and should be a concern for everyone.”

Under the move over law in Maryland, drivers need to move to a non-adjacent lane when they see stopped emergency vehicles with their lights flashing.

If there is too much traffic to move over safely, drivers are expected to at least slow down significantly.

“It is imperative that the drivers out on the roadway pay attention to what’s going on around them,” said Maryland State Police Captain Dan Pickett. “The purpose of the Maryland move over law is to save the lives of our police officers, our firefighters and our tow service operators.”

So far this year, 35 Maryland state troopers have been struck while doing their job; 15 of those occurred in the D.C. metro area, Pickett said.

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