Capt. David Barr was wearing reflective gear and directing traffic around a crash scene surrounded by flares when a vehicle hit him in Perryville. Barr died on Nov. 7, more than a week after the incident.
Simply slowing down or moving over when you see emergency personnel on the road can save lives. You can also avoid fines ranging up to $750: It’s not a rumor but an actual law in the state of Maryland under which drivers can be fined if they don’t obey the Move Over law to carefully pass police and first responders.
Maryland State Police targeted enforcement around the Move Over law in October. During the enforcement effort on Oct. 21, troopers conducted more than 1,400 traffic stops during a 24-hour period and issued 335 citations and 484 warnings.
More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed since 1999 after being struck by vehicles along America's highways, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
In Maryland, Barr’s death is one of several recent incidents in which police say emergency personnel's lives were at risk while they did their jobs on Maryland roadways.
Maryland State Trooper First Class Christopher Hall was injured Oct. 28 when his parked police car was struck by a car on the outer loop of I-695 near Maryland Route 702. Reports said Hall's car was stopped with its emergency lights flashing, blocking off the crash site until it could be cleared. A Dundalk man received traffic citations for violating the Move Over Law and for failing to control the speed of his car to avoid a collision.
A state police patrol car was struck on I-695 in Baltimore County on Oct. 12, although the trooper was not injured in that crash. Trooper First Class Justin Updegraff’s marked patrol car was destroyed but he was outside his vehicle when it was struck.
A state trooper was hit in Anne Arundel County on Oct. 6. Trooper Jacqueline “Jackie” Kline was struck by a passing car as she assisted another trooper on a traffic stop on Route 100. State police hosted a benefit race, 5K for JK, in Kline’s honor on Nov. 10 at the Maryland State Police Academy in Sykesville. More than 500 participants helped raise money to help with expenses related to Kline’s recovery and rehabilitation.In addition, a Howard County police officer was injured while making a routine traffic stop on westbound I-70 in September. Officer Neil White had pulled a car over when a pickup truck struck White's cruiser from behind. Investigators say the driver of the pickup truck may have fallen asleep before striking White's cruiser.
TELL US: Do you think the law is enough to ensure the safety of personnel working on Maryland roads? Do you heed the law? Leave a comment to let us know.