Drivers Ignoring Move Over Law Can Face Serious Penalties

Drivers Ignoring Move Over Law Can Face Serious Penalties

Drivers Ignoring Move Over Law Can Face Serious Penalties

April 2022 marks the first anniversary of the Move Over Law replacing the Steer Clear Law.

Between 2019 and 2021, more than 135 first responders and emergency personnel in the U.S. have been killed while working an emergency scene or assisting a disabled vehicle. Five of those deaths happened on Pennsylvania roadways.

These often-avoidable deaths compelled the state to strengthen its Move Over Law in April 2021 to increase penalties for Pennsylvania drivers who fail to comply with the regulation.

If you are charged with a Move Over or another traffic violation, contact Scaringi Law. We aggressively represent clients in such traffic cases as texting while driving, running a red light, and speeding.

Slow Down or Move Over

Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area to move over to a lane further away. When moving over is unsafe, drivers must slow down by at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit. If you see an accident with emergency vehicles flashing and the speed limit is 55 miles per hour you must slow down to 35 miles per hour.

Drivers must move over or slow down for all responders at an emergency scene including the following:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Tow Trucks
  • Maintenance Vehicles

An emergency response area is where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, where road crews or emergency responders have lighted flares or posted signs, or where first responders are warning travelers or directing traffic.

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 another traffic control device.
  • Road flares.

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

Consequences of Move Over Law Violations

The penalties for any driver violating the Pennsylvania Move Over Law vary depending on whether the driver had prior offenses. Pennsylvania has a point system whereby points are added to a driving record when a driver is found guilty of certain driving violations. Violating the Move Over Law results in at least two points added to your driving record. The Department of Transportation begins corrective action when a driving record accumulates six or more points.

Move Over Law penalties also include fines:

  • First Offense: $500 Fine
  • Second Offense: $1,000 Fine
  • Third or More Offense: $2,000 Fine

For a third or subsequent offense, violators will have their license suspended for 90 days. The 90-day suspension also applies to any Move Over violation, even the first, if someone is injured or killed.

That suspension increases to six months if the person is an emergency service provider or was near a disabled vehicle and suffers serious bodily injury; the suspension is one year if the person dies. These cases also increase the fine to up to $10,000.

Getting Pulled Over Is Not Required

You do not have to get pulled over by law enforcement to be charged with a Move Over violation. A firefighter, a paramedic, and even the tow truck driver can identify your vehicle, color, license number, time, and approximate location of the violation. That report is given to the police. If the police find the report credible, they will issue a summons.

April’s National Work Zone Awareness Week

The key to being an alert driver includes watching for emergency areas, road hazards, and changing road conditions. April’s annual National Work Zone Awareness Week offers reminders for us all to drive defensibly and to slow down. The 2022 National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15.

Here are a few safety tips when approaching a roadside emergency or maintenance area:

  • Slow down
  • Don’t brake hard or stop
  • Signal your lane change
  • Move over at least one lane away if possible and safe
  • Watch for lane closures or shifting traffic patterns
  • Keep an eye out for all first responders, road workers, and others on the roadway

Protect Your Driver’s License

Do not underestimate the impacts of traffic violations. Insurance premiums will rise, and you risk license suspension among other consequences.

At Scaringi Law, we have helped numerous clients reach successful outcomes in their traffic violation cases. Whatever your situation, we can discuss your options and guide you through the process.

Call our firm today at (717) 775-7195 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also send us a message online.


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