In October 2020, Governor Wolf signed into law a bill to strengthen the “Steer Clear Law” by adding driver record points and increased fines to the offense of failing to move over in an emergency response area. The new law becomes effective on April 27, 2021, and changes the name of the “Steer Clear Law” to the “Move Over Law”. The law adds a new provision which provides that in an emergency response area along a road where there is an emergency response vehicle or operator such as a tow truck driver, police, or EMS, the motorist must move over into the left lane. If it is impossible for the motorist to safely move into the left lane, the motorist is permitted to stay in the right lane, or in a lane adjacent to the emergency response area but must reduce speed by 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
The law adds a new provision to allow a disabled vehicle, defined as “a vehicle that is in a traffic lane or on the side of a traffic lane and clearly marked with at least two of three markings such as hazard lights, caution signs, or road flares” to have the same protections as vehicles in an emergency response area. Besides adding two points to the driver record, the first offense incurs a $500 fine which doubles for every offense thereafter.
AAA values the lives of our emergency responders and advocates for the safety and lives of workers who assist stranded motorists who often find themselves in dangerous situations. Nationally, an average of 23 tow truck operators are killed every year, with one service provider on average killed every other week. Last year, AAA tragically lost a tow truck operator who was assisting motorists to safety. Behind every one of these statistics is a person with a family left behind.
When approaching an emergency response area stay focused, Move Over or Slow Down for emergency responders and save their lives.