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Old 09-15-2011, 02:19 PM
 
297 posts, read 860,157 times
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Here's an article from the Baltimore Sun regarding this law from last October:
Maryland Move Over Law | Flashing red or blue lights say 'move over' - Baltimore Sun
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:30 PM
 
7,571 posts, read 9,694,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I hope that's in the written law, because other than that it's not fair to drivers. How are we supposed to know "the principle" if it's not delineated in writing.
I don't know. I'm just relaying what I remember a cop saying on these forums. If I get time I'll search for it.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,750 posts, read 2,765,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew_s View Post
Please dont over generalize MD residents. Not all of us are anal retentive...
I didn't say everybody was anal retentive, just the state as a whole. Try registering a car there and forget to cross every "t" and dot every "i". If it ain't perfect it ain't gonna get done.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
243 posts, read 300,655 times
Reputation: 56
I believe it IS the law to move over, if safe to do so, when a vehicle is pulled over on the side of the road. Driving from MD to MO last year, I noticed in MO the signs are Everywhere and people definitely follow that law. I also noticed the further west I got (western WV and on) the drivers were nice and actually drove in the slow lane rather than taking up the passing lane as a travel lane.

It'll be interesting to see if the 'trap' works around here. I personally had a friend who was struck and killed while helping a motorist on the side of the road, so I fully support anything that police can do to enforce this law!
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:19 AM
 
206 posts, read 250,846 times
Reputation: 111
For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, I am a police officer -- so I will shed some light on the law for those of you who have questions on it.

The "move over law" was established in Maryland the same time the cell phone law was -- in October 2010. As some have said, there are times on certain roadways or certain conditions are in effect where you cannot move over a lane if you see an officer on a traffic stop or any other scene. That is why there are two new traffic laws applicable to the "move over law". They are as follows:

Quote:
TA 21-405(e1) - Failure of driver to make lane change to available lane not immediately adjacent to stopped emergency veh


and

Quote:
TA 21-405(e2) - Failure of driver to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed while passing stopped emergency veh


Basically, what this is saying is if you cannot move over a lane, you need to slow your speed while passing. Each carry a fine of $110 and 1 point. Those increase if it contributes to certain accidents. This law is applicable to any time an emergency vehicle is stopped; not just traffic stops.

Contrary to what the OP might believe, these laws are not implemented to "trap" people or to generate revenue for the state. The law is quite easy to follow (it's common sense, people should be doing this anyways for any vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway) and has been enacted in numerous states for the safety of law enforcement personnel and those that are also on scene. There is no pressure, incentive, or written order to write citations for these (or any other traffic law for that matter) so if you do receive a citation for one, it's because the officer felt you deserved one, not because he or she is "trying to generate revenue". Those that I have stopped for the move over law I just gave warnings to because unfortunately there was not a lot of media coverage on this law like there was for the cell phone ban last year. If anyone has any other questions about it I will be happy to answer them.



EDIT: after reading more into the thread, I see some want the language of the law. It is as follows:

Quote:
(e) Duty of Driver upon approach of emergency vehicle on highway. - Unless otherwise directed by a police officer or a traffic control device, when an emergency vehicle using any visual signal that meets the requirements of 22-218 of this article is stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, the driver of a motor vehicle approaching the emergency vehicle from the rear shall:

(1) If practicable and not otherwise prohibited, make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle with due regard for safety and traffic conditions; or
(2) If the driver of the motor vehicle is unable to make a lane change in accordance with item (1) of this subsection, slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.
Yes, there does leave room for interpretation in subsection (2), however, as I tell everyone on the road, use common sense -- you either have it or you don't. Received a citation and don't agree with the officer? That is what court is for. If police wanted to "abuse" traffic laws as some have stated, then you would be getting pulled over and cited for going 1 mile above the speed limit. The majority of us enforce the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. It's called discretion. So again, just use common sense.

Last edited by tgs_bg; 09-16-2011 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
4,920 posts, read 5,553,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgs_bg View Post
Yes, there does leave room for interpretation in subsection (2),

The majority of us enforce the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. It's called discretion. So again, just use common sense.
While I'm pretty much on your side in this, remember, discretion can also be interpreted as "selective enforcement" and "profiling." And if the law is vague to the point of being discretionary, it can also be ruled unconstitutional. (which is what happend to "reasonable and prudent" speed limits).

And a lot of citizens fear leaving it up to the officer's discretion.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:09 PM
 
1,696 posts, read 3,190,733 times
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You can record the conversation in person of anyone who is speaking to you, including a cop. That is not wiretapping and is protected by the constitution.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:37 PM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,252,783 times
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As for discretion.....if I slow down from 65 -- to 50 -- and safely passed the vehicle.... then clearly I've safely passed the vehicle and I don't see what the issue should be. I don't want a cop giving me even a warning because HE/she doesn't THINK I slowed down to a clearly open to interpretation "reasonable or prudent" speed.

But the law is on the books so obviously I'll try to move over, if I can.

Also I tend to be VERY aware of the road (since I tend to speed, I'm always on the lookout) -- so if I see other vehicles on the side of the road further ahead up the road, then that could be a hint -- it's a set-up type of trap.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:18 PM
 
206 posts, read 250,846 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
While I'm pretty much on your side in this, remember, discretion can also be interpreted as "selective enforcement" and "profiling." And if the law is vague to the point of being discretionary, it can also be ruled unconstitutional. (which is what happend to "reasonable and prudent" speed limits).

And a lot of citizens fear leaving it up to the officer's discretion.
Discretion, no doubt goes hand in hand with selective enforcement. All officers use selective enforcement -- not too sure I understand the negative connotation you are giving it. As far as profiling, profiling is legal, it is racial profiling that is illegal. But, that is a completely different topic all together.

I think the law isn't THAT vague. In fact a lot of laws; criminal and traffic are like that. It lets an officer's training, knowledge, experience and articulation come into play when enforcing a law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars
As for discretion.....if I slow down from 65 -- to 50 -- and safely passed the vehicle.... then clearly I've safely passed the vehicle and I don't see what the issue should be. I don't want a cop giving me even a warning because HE/she doesn't THINK I slowed down to a clearly open to interpretation "reasonable or prudent" speed.
Your definition of "safely" and the police officer's definition might differ. An officer's training, knoweldge, experience and articulation, as I refered to before plays a factor in this. But mainly it is based on the situation (besides weather and traffic conditions). If you see what appears to be just a traffic stop with everyone in their vehicles, I personally don't expect you to slow down as much as I would if you see a traffic stop with an officer doing a field interview with occupants out of the vehicle, or if an officer is searching a vehicle on the side of the road. There really is no magic number in regards to speed. Reasonable and/or prudent has a lot of factors played into it.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:18 PM
 
261 posts, read 857,027 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I support the other "move over" law: if you're not passing anybody and there is at least one lane present to you're right, then MOVE OVER!!!
Umm - I don't think this is relevant to the move over law. My understanding is that this law relates to moving to the left when an emergency or police vehicle is on the hard shoulder.

So while I could quite easily be in favor of a law that stopped people from hogging the left most lane, this isn't it.

Or was this post supposed to be a joke? In which case, duh!
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