Not Moving Over is About to Cost a Lot More
At Conestoga Collision, we have been asking drivers to abide by Move Over laws for years. Basic safety and courtesy on the roads costs a driver nothing to offer his or her fellow commuters. Yet, over and over, we hear of unnecessary deaths of police/fire, EMS, tow operators, construction workers and others who make their living working in active construction or emergency zones. Why? Because drivers are not paying attention, or worse, are simply unwilling to extend the courtesy of one lane of space or a reduction in speed in order to make the area safe for men and women to do their job.
Well, the failure to extend that free courtesy is now going to cost such drivers in the form of higher fines and points on their PA Drivers License. Effective today, 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. An emergency response area is 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.
As passed, the law:
- Creates a new point system that imposes two points for failure to merge into the lane not next to the emergency response area.
- Sets fines at $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
- Requires a 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. The license suspension also applies to incidents that seriously injure or kill another person. The suspension is six months if the person injured or killed is an emergency service provider or was near a disabled vehicle.
- Sets additional fines of up to $10,000 for violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle.
- Doubled fines for several traffic violations when committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.
We are not big on regulation and legislation for issues that should be solved by individuals being more civil to one another. But, we’ve tried that now for decades and it seems not to work. We support any measure that increases the likelihood of folks going home to their families after working a shift on the roadways of PA.