PIKESVILLE, Md. — Three state police cruisers were damaged when they were struck by another vehicle as officers were assisting in a roadside stop in Montgomery County Wednesday morning, Maryland State Police said.
Just prior to 6:15 a.m., troopers from the Rockville Barrack pulled over a suspected impaired driver traveling on Interstate 270 North prior to Shady Grove Road. Four troopers assisted in the stop.
While troopers were conducting the traffic stop, another vehicle traveling on I-270 North struck three state police cruisers. The cruisers all had emergency lights activated at the time of the crash. No troopers were in their vehicles at the time of the crash, and no police were injured in the incident.
The driver initially stopped on suspicion of DUI, 27-year-old Jonathan Lee Hostetter of Sunderland, was arrested and taken to the Rockville Barrack pending charges.
The driver suspected of hitting the police vehicles, 80-year-old Albert Danene Bishop of North Bethesda, was taken to Suburban Hospital as a precaution. Police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. The three damaged cruisers were eventually towed from the scene.
Bishop was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, negligent driving and failure to obey a traffic control device, all of which violates Maryland's “Move Over” laws.
The laws require drivers who approach emergency vehicles to use signals and make a lane change if possible, creating space so that drivers are not “immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle,” police said. Vehicles operated by law enforcement, emergency responders, or most state or local agencies fall under “Move Over” jurisdiction.
Violating the law can result in a fine of $110 and one point on a primary offense, or if an accident is caused by the failure to move, the fine grows $150 fine with three points. If such an accident causes death or serious injury the fine is $750 and three points.
“The intent of the law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for police officers, fire fighters, and emergency personnel working along Maryland roads,” the state police said in a statement. While moving over is prioritized by the laws, drivers should not do so if it puts them or others in peril.