Have you ever seen a police officer pulled over on the side of the road and wondered how you should proceed? Did you know that there are laws about moving over and providing officials with adequate space when they are stopped?
According to WUSA9, all 50 states in the country have laws regarding moving over on highways, or shifting lanes and providing space to emergency responders. This is because since 2005, more than 120 officers have been killed in crashes involving drivers striking them on roadways.
In Maryland, HB 499 was passed into law in 2010, requiring all drivers approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, to “make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle.”
In Virginia, a move over law was adopted in 2002, with very similar wording. Drivers who fail to move over when they see an official on the side of the road can face tickets and fines.
We bring this subject up because on July 8, a Maryland State trooper was injured after a car struck him during a traffic stop in Laurel.
The trooper was listed in serious condition at a hospital following the vehicle accident, which took place on Interstate 95. He is expected to live.
The crash allegedly occurred during rush hour, when the trooper was conducting a traffic stop between Route 175 and Route 32 in Howard County. When the trooper was walking towards a vehicle that was pulled over, a Mercury vehicle left the travel portion of the highway, hitting both the trooper’s vehicle and the car that was pulled over.
The impact sent the vehicles into the trooper’s direction, causing him to fall dangerously over the guardrail on the side of the road. All of the parties involved in the accident needed injury treatment. The trooper’s emergency lights were on at the time of the crash, investigators said. The accident remains under investigation and charges are pending.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a reckless driver, speak to our Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. attorneys about pursuing litigation. You may be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering, as well as future medical treatment costs. You should not have to suffer because someone was driving erratically around you.
If you see ANY vehicle pulled over on the highway, you should use caution. As a driver, you are responsible for making sure that you provide disabled vehicles and emergency responders with adequate space on the highway.
Follow our social media sites for continued vehicle accident news. Have a wonderful weekend!
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.