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Police: 40 vehicles stopped for violating 'move over' law

April 15, 2011

City police stopped 40 vehicles over a 2 1/2-hour period Friday morning for violating Maryland's "move over" law, the Hagerstown Police Department said.

The  law, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2010, requires a driver to change lanes into an available lane away from an emergency vehicle if the driver is approaching the emergency vehicle from the rear. The emergency vehicle must be using its visual signals and must be parked or stopped.

If changing lanes is not safe or possible or is otherwise prohibited, the driver must slow down to a reasonable and prudent speed that ensures the safety of emergency services personnel.

Police targeted drivers for violating the law from 8 to 10:30 a.m., according to a police department news release. A combination of citations and warnings were issued.

A violation of the law is considered a misdemeanor and carries a $110 fine and one point assessed on the driver's license. A violation that contributes to an accident carries a $150 fine and three points.

If the violation contributes to an accident that causes a serious injury or fatality, the fine is $750 and three points.

Police said they pulled over the vehicles to promote public awareness.

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