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What is the Move Over (“Steer Clear”) Law in Pennsylvania?

Posted on June 28, 2023

Pennsylvania has implemented a Move Over law, also known as the “Steer Clear” law to promote safer conditions for emergency responders. This law requires drivers to vacate the lane closest to an emergency response area when they encounter emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or other authorized vehicles displaying flashing lights to avoid a car accident or other further injuries. 

The Purpose and Importance of Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law

The primary purpose of the Move Over law is to enhance the safety of emergency personnel assisting motorists or attending to emergency situations on the side of the road. For example, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and tow truck operators who are carrying out their duties.

Creating a buffer zone between emergency vehicles and passing traffic reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. The law also encourages drivers to be more aware and cautious when approaching emergency scenes. 

Move Over Law Requirements and Compliance

To comply with Pennsylvania’s Move Over law, drivers are expected to take specific actions when they encounter emergency vehicles or authorized vehicles displaying flashing lights. Here are the key requirements:

  • Move to the Next Lane: If you are driving on a multi-lane road and can safely do so, you must move to the next lane away from the emergency response area. This maneuver helps create a safe space for emergency workers.
  • Reduce Speed: If changing lanes is not possible or safe due to traffic conditions, drivers must significantly reduce their speed while passing the emergency response area. 

It is essential to note that the Move Over law applies to all emergency response areas. By adhering to the Move Over law, drivers actively contribute to the safety and well-being of both emergency responders and fellow motorists. Taking the following steps can help ensure compliance and create a safer driving environment:

  • Stay Alert: Be attentive to your surroundings. Look out for flashing lights, roadside signs, and emergency vehicles.
  • Plan Ahead: If you know you will be traveling through areas with high emergency response activity, factor in additional time and remain extra vigilant.
  • Educate Others: Spread awareness about the Move Over law among friends, family, and colleagues.

Compliance with the Move Over law is not only a legal requirement but also a responsible and necessary action to ensure the well-being of all road users.

Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney

Move Over Law Violations in Pennsylvania

Violating the Move Over law can result in the following fines and penalties: 

  • Two points on your driving record.
  • A fine of $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
  • A 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. 
  • A fine of up to $10,000 and license suspension if the violation resulted in an accident that caused a serious injury or fatality.
  • Fines are doubled when several traffic violations are committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.

If you are involved in a car accident and seriously injured, speak to a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer as soon as possible. They can advise you on your options and help guide you through the legal process.