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Steer Clear: PA’s “Move Over Law”

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With colder weather upon us, AAA North Penn reports a number of area towing companies have been getting a lot more calls. Several emergency responders in our area, including Mike Milewski Jr. with Milewski Towing & Recovery, say some drivers are putting them at risk by not following the “Move Over Law.”  The main focus behind the law, also known as “Steer Clear,” requires drivers to move at least one lane away from incidents on area roadways.  Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey teamed up with safety experts to tackle this topic Monday on Newswatch 16 This Morning.

According to the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, "state law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area, including areas in which a tow truck is offering assistance, to pass in a non-adjacent lane if safe and possible to do so, or slow to a safe speed."  Safety experts say emergency responders can include: law enforcement, tow truck operators and other emergency personnel.

This animation demonstrates how the law works in other states and in PA.

According to state officials, "those who do not follow this law can face a fine up to $250, but drivers cited for traffic violations in the situations will face double fines.  If that violation leads to a worker being injured, a 90-day license suspension could result."

AAA North Penn in Scranton reports that many people don't know about the "Move Over Law" around the country and here at home.  This idea is backed up by a 2015 study by Mason Dixon Polling & Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission:

  • 71 percent of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws.
  • 86 percent support enacting “Move Over” laws in all 50 states; and
  • 90 percent believe traffic stops and roadside emergencies are dangerous for law enforcement and first responders.For more information on Pennsylvania's state laws and rules, head here.

    You can also head here for more on the "Move Over Law," and its impact on other states.


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