Pennsylvania ‘Move Over’ law now in effect

April 29, 2021

Greg Grisolano

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Motorists in Pennsylvania who fail to steer clear of emergency response areas must now slow down significantly or risk a hefty fine, under a new law that took effect April 27.

Pennsylvania’s Move Over law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area who are unable to safely merge into a lane further away from the response area to slow to at least 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.

The law defines an emergency response area as “where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, or where road crews or emergency responders have lighted flares, posted signs, or try to warn travelers,” according to a news release by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The bill was signed into law last October by Gov. Tom Wolfe. It went into effect 180 days later.

Disabled vehicles are covered by the Move Over law when they display at least two of the following markings:

  • Vehicular hazard signal lamps.
  • Caution signs or other traffic control device.
  • Road flares.

Since 2001, Pennsylvania statute requires all drivers to slow down and to move into a lane not adjacent to an emergency response area anytime an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and where road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares, posted signs or try to warn travelers. The maneuver is required when possible.

If motorists are unable to move over because of traffic or other conditions, the rule states they must reduce their speed.

Offenders face fines up to $250. Repeat offenders face double fines. Subsequent offenses would result in $1,000 fines. The new law also imposes a two-point penalty for failure to merge in the lane not next to the emergency response area.

In addition, a 90-day license suspension is included for third or subsequent offenses. The license suspension also is applied to any incident that results in serious bodily injury to or death of another person. Additional fines of up to $10,000 may be imposed on violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle.

A similar law requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching a stationary trash or recycling truck. LL

State Legislative Editor Keith Goble contributed to this report.

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Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.