Should I Move Over if I See a Stopped Police Car?

By Peter DePaolis

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 to move over that provide officials with adequate space when they are stopped? car accidents preview

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.

Maryland Trooper Injured in Car Accident

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.

Working With an Attorney Following a Failure to Move Over Car Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a reckless driver, speak to our Maryland 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 L.L.P.

Maryland Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.