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Tow truck drivers to be added to move-over law in Maryland

If you've been a tow truck driver and have been hurt on the job in the past, then this new legislation may be music to your ears. According to news from July 14, lawmakers in Maryland want to make the roads safer for tow truck drivers by expanding the move-over law to include tow truck operators.

What does that mean for you now? Normally, people have to move over on highways and streets, or slow down if moving over isn't possible, when there is an emergency vehicle in the right-hand lane. It's expected that people will give the emergency vehicles at least one lane of distance. Now, your truck will be included in the listing of vehicles for which others have to move over.

In October 2014, the law will take effect. Starting in October, drivers passing tow-truck operators must move over or slow down when they see them on the side of the highway. It's hoped that people will obey the new law, since it aims to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries for tow truck drivers.

One man reported that there have been at least three fatalities across the country in the last two weeks due to people hitting tow truck drivers. Another man was able to recover, but that's not always the case for those struck by fast-paced vehicles.

The new law will be enforced throughout Maryland, and violation amounts have been released. If a person doesn't move over or slow down, the fine is $110 and a point on the driver's license. If there is a crash due to the violation, there is a $150 violation fine and three points on the driver's license. If there is a death or serious injury due to the violation, then drivers may face $750 in fines and three points on their licenses.

Source: Frederick News Post, "Lawmakers: Move over for tow trucks" Kelsi Loos, Jul. 14, 2014

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