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Maine's Move Over Law

Move Over Law
This cruiser was struck on Interstate 95 in Palmyra, in 2003. Trooper William Baker was stationary at the scene of a motor vehicle crash. The cruiser was in the passing lane with it's emergency light activated when it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer truck. The tractor-trailer operator failed to move over for Trooper Baker.

Every time a Trooper stops a motor vehicle or is at the scene of a motor vehicle crash there is a threat of being hit by a passing motorist. The danger exists not only on highways but every road in Maine. The number one killer of police officers is motor vehicle crashes. The chance of being seriously injured or killed by a passing motorist increases as speed and the volume of traffic increases. A law was passed in 2001 requiring motorists on Maine's roadways to slow down and/or pull over for a stopped emergency vehicle. Corporal Ron Brooks, who currently patrols the Maine Turnpike, initiated the 'Move Over Law' in Maine. Corporal Brooks recommended the concept for legislation and it was passed within months. The law specifically states:

Title 29-A 2054-9
The operator of a vehicle passing a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using an emergency light, with due regard to the safety and traffic conditions, shall:
A. Pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible; or
B. If passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible or unsafe, pass the emergency vehicle at a careful and prudent speed reasonable for passing the authorized emergency vehicle safely.

An authorized emergency vehicle as stated in this statute is defined as; a law enforcement vehicle, a fire department vehicle, and ambulances. In September 2007, the law was modified to include wreckers who are at a scene as authorized emergency vehicles.

The fine imposed is a minimum of $311 for a violation.

This law was enacted to help keep not only our public safety workers safe but also other motorists who are often caught up in the same collisions.

Together we can strive to keep Maine's roads safe for everyone.