PA's New 'Move Over' Law Goes Into Effect 4/27/2021
Pennsylvania's new "move over" law goes into effect Tuesday, and will mean stricter penalties for those in violation.
The statute requires drivers approaching an emergency response area who can't safely merge into a lane further away from the response area to slow to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
Formerly known as the Steer Clear Law, the legislation defines an emergency response area as a location where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing or where emergency responders have lighted flares, posted signs or try to warn travelers.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, 7,075 citations were issued in 2018-2019 for "steer clear/move over" violations, in addition to 3,204 warnings.
"We have a problem in Pennsylvania," state Rep. Doug Mastriano of Adams County, who co-sponsored the changes stiffening the penalties for violators, said in a news release. "This needs to end now. Our legislation is a multi-pronged strategy to save lives, and it starts with rebranding the law to send the message. It couldn't be clearer: 'Move Over.'"
The measure, approved last year by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, establishes the following penalties:
- Two points for failure to merge into the lane not next to the emergency response area.
- Fines of $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for second offenders and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
- A 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. The license suspension also applies to incidents that seriously injure or kill another person. The suspension is six months if the person injured or killed is an emergency service provider or was near a disabled vehicle.
- Additional fines of up to $10,000 for violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle.
- Doubled fines for several traffic violations when committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.