PennDOT, State Police Advise Motorists to Steer Clear of Emergency Responders
State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan is reminding motorists to “steer clear” of police, emergency responders, road crews and tow-truck operators while they carry out their duties.
In August, a state police trooper was injured when a motor home struck the rear of his patrol car on the shoulder of Interstate 78 in Lebanon County. Another state trooper was hurt when he was struck by an SUV while issuing a citation to a motorist along Interstate 81 in Dauphin County.
Noonan reminds drivers that Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear Law requires motorists to move to a lane that is not immediately adjacent to an emergency response area. Such areas include locations where police are making traffic stops, where highway or construction workers are involved in emergency assistance, or where tow trucks are responding to disabled vehicles.
If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they must proceed at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent,” according to the law.
The law applies any time an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and where road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares or have posted signs or other traffic control devices.
Failure to move over or slow down can result in a summary offense that carries a fine of up to $250. In addition, fines will be doubled for other traffic violations occurring in these areas. If the violation leads to a first responder being injured, a 90-day license suspension could result.
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