Pennsylvania’s New ‘Move Over Law’ Hikes Penalties and Fines Up To $10,000

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s newly revamped law requiring motorists to “move over” when approaching first responders and disabled vehicles (or face increased penalties) became effective on Tuesday.

The Keystone State’s newly amended Move Over Law now requires drivers who are unable to safely merge into a lane further away from an “emergency response area” to slow to at least 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.




 

The law defines an emergency response area as where emergency vehicles such as police units, first responders or tow trucks are present and with lights flashing, or where road crews have lighted flares, posted signs, or are attempting to warn travelers.

Disabled vehicles are also 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.

The law, signed on October 29, 2020, also substantially increases penalties and fines for violators.

 

First-time offenders will be fined $500.

Second-time offenders will incur a $1,000 fine and third-time (and subsequent) offenders will be hit with a $2,000 fine.

Additionally, violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle will face a fine up to $10,000.

The law also requires a 90-day license suspension for such offenders, as well as third-time and subsequent violators.

Further, a newly added provision creates a point system that imposes two points for failure to merge into the lane not next to the emergency response area.




 

Pennsylvania State Police indicated that 55 of its vehicles were hit in 2020 while on the side of the road.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there were 1,412 work zone crashes in 2020 resulting in 15 fatalities.

Since 1970, PennDOT reports it has lost 89 workers in the line of duty, while the Pennsylvania Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1940.

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