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Pennsylvania's new Move Over Law takes effect 04.27.21 "Updated"


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Rep. Nick Pisciottano Lauds Move Over Law

A senseless tragedy involving a constituent of mine led to the passage of a new law, called the “Move Over Law,” which will now require drivers to take proactive steps when approaching or passing a disabled vehicle. Scott spent his life helping others, now this new law will help protect more Pennsylvanians.

 

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Updated ‘Move Over’ law now is in effect

 

A legislative change to strengthen state law regarding vehicles in emergency zones went into effect this week

 

Formerly known as the Steer Clear Law, it’s now the Move Over Law and it went into effect on Tuesday.

 

The measure was put forth by Republican state senators — Doug Mastriano and Kim Ward — and was proposed in July 2020.

 

In a legislative memo, the Senators say it was in direct response to several accidents, including those that killed a tow truck driver and injuries to law enforcement personnel.

 

The name of the law was specifically changed “to clarify how the motoring public should react when approaching or passing an emergency response area,” they wrote.

 

The text of the legislation requires motorists passing a disabled vehicle to either “pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the disabled vehicle” and, if that’s not possible, “pass the disabled vehicle at a rate of speed that is no more than 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit” and what is “reasonable for safely passing the disabled vehicle.”

 

They explain that existing law only required drivers to pass the emergency area at a “careful and prudent reduced speed” and said that several states — Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming have implemented this new standard.

 

The legislation also set up a two point penalty for a “Move Over” violation for failure to merge into the lane not adjacent to the response area if safe to do so.

The fines for these offenses were also doubled. Data from the state police reports there were 7,075 citations issued in 2018 and 2019 for emergency response area violations in addition to 3,204 warnings.

 

“The steeper fines and point assessment introduced in this legislation should act as a deterrent against repeat offenders,” the Senators conclude, “while also providing another opportunity to educate drivers on the ‘Move Over’ law.”

 

The legislation also clarifies how a disabled vehicle should be identified, stating that two of three possible markings – vehicle hazard signal lamps (flashers), caution signs or road flares.

 

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