Montgomery County Crash Highlights Importance Of Maryland’s ‘Move Over’ Laws

Press Release, Maryland State Police

(ROCKVILLE, Md.) – A crash yesterday morning in Montgomery County highlights the importance of motorists adhering to the state’s “Move Over” law.

Shortly before 6:15 a.m. this morning, troopers from the Rockville Barrack stopped a suspected impaired driver on Interstate 270 North prior to Shady Grove Road. Four troopers were on the scene to assist with the suspect.

At this time, another driver traveling on I-270 North struck three state police cruisers, which had all emergency lights activated at the time of the crash. None of the troopers were in their patrol vehicles at the time of the crash. In addition, no troopers were injured as a result of the crash. All state police vehicles involved in the crash were towed from the scene.

The suspect that hit the patrol vehicles, identified as Albert Danene Bishop, 80, of North Bethesda, Md., was transported to Suburban Hospital for precautions. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash. Bishop was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, negligent driving and failure to obey a traffic control device.

The driver suspected of DUI was identified as Jonathan Lee Hostetter, 27, of Sunderland, Md. He was arrested at the scene and transported to the Rockville Barrack for processing. Charges are pending in that case.

Maryland’s “Move Over” laws require drivers approaching from the rear of an emergency vehicle using visual signals while stopped on a highway to, if possible, make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle.

This movement should only be done if another lane in the same direction is available and the move can be made safely and without impeding other traffic.  If moving to another lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle is not possible, the law requires drivers to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.

The intent of the law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for police officers, fire fighters, and emergency rescue personnel working along Maryland roads.

It is hoped drivers will become more aware of police and emergency workers stopped along the road and move away from them or slow down as they pass by the traffic stop or incident scene.

Under Maryland Vehicle Law, emergency vehicles are defined as:

  • Vehicles of federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies;
  • Vehicles of volunteer fire companies, rescue squads, fire departments, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute;
  • State vehicles used in response to oil or hazardous materials spills;
  • State vehicles designated for emergency use by the Commissioner of Correction;
  • Ambulances;
  • Transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices.
  • Special vehicles funded or provided by federal, state, or local government and used for emergency or rescue purposes in Maryland.

Violation of the ‘move over’ law is a primary offense with a fine of $110 and one point.  If the violation contributes to a traffic crash, the fine is $150 and three points.  If the violation contributes to a traffic crash resulting in death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.

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