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Maine State Police demonstrate importance of move over law in Bangor

Maine State Police held a demonstration on Friday to show how many cars obey it when a state...
Maine State Police held a demonstration on Friday to show how many cars obey it when a state police cruiser is on the side of I-95.(Owen Kingsley)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 1:47 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The move over law helps avoid dozens of traffic deaths around the country every year.

“Across the country there’s been 38 traffic fatalities for first responders to include law enforcement,” said Lt. Michael Johnston of the Maine State Police.

Half of those this year have been first responders outside of their vehicles.

“They’re being hit by motorists and killing them. Which is why this law is so critically important,” said Johnston.

When you see flashing lights on the road, move over.

It’s the law, but a tough one to enforce.

Maine State Police held a demonstration on Friday to show how many cars obey it when a state police cruiser is on the side of I-95.

But the law applies to more than just first responders.

“It would include people doing construction on the interstate, might be certain types of infrastructure projects, Department of Transportation workers,” said Johnston.

To help find out how many people are following the move over law, I counted the first 50 cars to drive by the Maine State Police cruiser. Six out of those 50 did not move over. Now I did the same thing with the Maine DOT truck, that was 21 out of 50 cars did not follow the move over law.

The law applies to all roads.

On my way to Friday morning’s demonstration a fire truck passed me on Stillwater Ave in Bangor.

Where you should safely pull over and come to a complete stop.

“There’s been multiple times when I’ve been out of my cruiser on the interstate. Where I’ve had cars go by me and miss me by inches,” said Johnston.

That’s one of the luckier stories.

“We’ve had sideview mirrors from cars that have hit troopers on their backside. That’s how close that they’ve got,” said Johnston.

State Police say that not following the move over law can result in a fine of $275.

It can also lead to getting your license suspended.

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