HARRISBURG – State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) and State Senator Kim Ward (R-39) are proposing revisions to the state’s Steer Clear Law in an effort to protect emergency service responders, such as tow truck drivers and law enforcement.
Senate Bill 1281 would rebrand the “Steer Clear Law” as the “Move Over Law” to clarify how the motoring public should react when approaching or passing an emergency response area.
“Over the past few weeks, there have been several roadway accidents resulting in a tow truck driver’s death and injuries to law enforcement personnel,” said Mastriano. “While the General Assembly took steps to increase penalties via Act 20 of 2017, more action is necessary to deter roadway mishaps.”
“The goal of our proposal is simple: ‘Move Over’ and slow down when you approach an emergency response area,” said Ward, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “Our emergency service responders risk their lives every day when answering calls on our roadways. We must ensure the safety and protection of our emergency service responders, as well as the motoring public, when approaching emergency scenes, traffic stops or disabled vehicles.”
The proposal by Mastriano and Ward would establish a new point system for a “Move Over” violation; double the fines for a summary offense; strengthen public awareness by requiring PennDOT to educate the public throughout the year; and implement new requirements for drivers approaching an emergency response area.
According to data from the PA State Police, 7,075 citations were issued in 2018-2019 for Section 3327 (Duty of Driver in Emergency Response Area) violations. Additionally, there were 3,204 warnings issued during that same timeframe.
“The steeper fines and point assessment introduced in this legislation should act as a deterrent against repeat offenders, while also providing another opportunity to educate drivers on the ‘Move Over Law’,” said Mastriano. “It is my hope that this legislative effort helps saves lives.”