Maryland: Danger grows for troopers stopped on side of highways
"It's harrowing, to say the least; when a car goes by you when you're standing outside, it's six or seven inches from you, and it's going 70 or 80 miles per hour,” said First Sergeant David Ryan, Maryland State Police.
Records show 38 Maryland State Troopers were struck along state highways in 2016, a consistently devastating collision.With such force, it launched First Sergeant David Ryan's vehicle several dozen feet.
"I looked down the shoulder real quick, it was skidding towards my cruiser, and I had just enough time to jump,” said Sgt. Ryan.
Sgt. Ryan's life flashed before his eyes three times roadside in Montgomery County, twice, while he was inside his vehicle."The vehicle slammed into the back of my cruiser, ejecting me out of the cruiser, knocking me unconscious, and I woke up in [a] shock trauma hospital,” said Sgt. Ryan.
In 2010, Maryland introduced the Move Over Law to help protect police, fire and rescue and tow truck operators parked alongside highways.
"The law dictates that you need to slow down to a reasonable speed and move over to an available lane, if it is available,” said Sgt. Ryan.A violation of the Move Over Law can produce fines ranging from $110 to $500, plus points on your license. Ryan said almost no one hits the road with plans of crashing into a parked police vehicle, but with the growing number of distractions, it's becoming more prevalent of a problem.
"A distracted driver and drunk driver are very similar, because neither one of them is focusing or can focus on the roadway,” said Sgt. Ryan.
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