Maryland Move Over Laws

Failing to change lanes or slow down for stopped emergency and service vehicles in Maryland will result in over $100 in fines and one to three penalty points.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 10, 2023
Maryland’s move over law requires you to move over or slow down when passing authorized emergency or service vehicles that are stopped on the highway or other roadways. Failure to do so will result in over $100 in fines and one to three points added to your driving record.
The State of Maryland passed its move over laws in 2010 with amendments in 2014 and 2018 to protect its roadside workers. Even with these laws in place, the state saw 53 fatalities and more than 4,000 injuries in work zone crashes from 2014 to 2019.
Move over laws exist in every state, but the risk still remains high when drivers don’t know their state’s legal expectations on the roads. Read on to learn all about the move over laws in Maryland from the licensed
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What are the move over laws in Maryland?

The move over law in Maryland compels drivers to change lanes if possible or slow down when passing authorized emergency and service vehicles that are stopped. Maryland Transportation Code 21-405 states that drivers must either: 
  • Change lanes when possible into an authorized lane not adjacent to the stopped vehicle 
  • Slow down to a reasonable and prudent speed safe for weather, road, and traffic conditions.

What roadside vehicles are covered by move over laws in Maryland? 

The Maryland move over laws cover the following authorized vehicles displaying red, white, blue, amber, and/or green lights or signal devices:
  • Police cars
  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks
  • MDOT Coordinated Highway Action Response Team (CHART) vehicles
  • Tow trucks
  • Transportation vehicles
  • Service vehicles
  • Utility vehicles
  • Waste and recycling vehicles

Penalties for violating Maryland’s move over laws

Failure to follow the move over laws can incur monetary fines and points on your
Maryland driving record
. The exact amount of fines and points depends on the severity of the violation.
Details of Violation
Misdemeanor (no casualties)
1 point
Violation causes a crash
3 points
Violation causes death or serious injury
3 points
Maryland law enforcement has written more than 25,000 citations under the law since 2015. Change lanes or slow down when you’re approaching a stopped vehicle with flashing lights to avoid damages to yourself and others.

Can violating the move over laws raise your insurance? 

Move over violations in Maryland leave marks on your driving record, which will likely lead to
higher rates on your car insurance
. Insurance companies don’t follow your state’s point systems but have their own systems that also accrue points for violations and infractions.
Changes to your insurance rate after a traffic violation depend on the severity of the incident and your previous driving record. If you’re worried about the risk an infraction could pose for your wallet, drive with care and shop for car insurance with
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Why are there move over laws? 

By encouraging caution and safety buffer zones, move over laws aim to protect emergency responders and state employees at roadside work zones. They are a legal representation of every driver’s obligation to stay alert and lower the risk posed by reckless driving.
James D. Garcia began the movement for move over laws in the late 90s after being struck while responding to a roadside emergency and then held responsible for the accident. The South Carolina paramedic was successful, and as of 2021, move over laws have been passed in every state.
Even so, many drivers remain unaware of their state’s move over laws. Some states have launched initiatives or campaigns to increase awareness of move over laws and other
safe driving practices
. In 2021, Maryland’s Be the Driver campaign began posting messages like “Be the MOVE OVER driver,” across billboards and state social media accounts.

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