General Assembly approves Move Over Law, stiffer penalties than Steer Clear Law

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s General Assembly has unanimously agreed to change the Steer Clear Law to the Move Over Law.

It adds stiffer penalties for those who don’t switch lanes when approaching emergency response areas.

The goal of this is to protect tow truck drivers, law enforcement officers, first responders and the general public as they’re pulled over on the side of the road.

“We took action after our first responders, and the grim statistics, showed that we have a problem in Pennsylvania in putting these committed men and women at unnecessary risk, in jobs that are already risky,” said Sen. Doug Mastriano, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Just three months ago, tow truck driver Tyler Laudenslager of Halifax was killed while answering a call.

He was one of two people in Pennsylvania, and 39 people across the country, who died while working roadside incidents this year.

“No family should have to experience the avoidable death of a loved one like this, and today’s action by the legislature, coming exactly three months since Tyler’s untimely death, is a tribute to his memory that will help avoid future tragedies,” said Sen. John DiSanto, who also sponsored the bill.

There are more than 350 reported crashes in the commonwealth each day.

Senate Bill 1281 establishes a new point system for move-over violations, doubling the fines for a first summary offense.

It clarifies you don’t just have to try to steer clear, but you’re required to move over from emergency areas.

If for some reason a driver can’t, they must slow down to at least 20 miles per hour under the speed limit.

This legislation also requires PennDOT to educate the public about the changes.

The passage comes about a month after the sponsors of this bill rallied outside of the Capitol with first responders.

State police say more than 7,000 citations and 3,000 warnings were issued from 2018 to 2019 for Steer Clear/Move Over violations.

The bill has been sent to the Governor.

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