Pa. Move Over Law urges drivers to watch out for those working along roads

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Pennsylvania Turnpike worker is recovering this week after being struck by a vehicle.

Monday morning Nov. 30, equipment operator Robert Sharpe responded to a vehicle overturned near the Gettysburg interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 15.

“As he’s out there checking on the motorist, a van lost control and slid into him, severely injuring him,” said Todd Leiss, traffic incident management coordinator with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “Bob suffered several broken ribs, an injured shoulder and a concussion and very close to losing his life.”

Two emergency responders have died this year while working along the side of the road.

“We’re very fortunate that he just happened to be bending down to look inside the vehicle when he was hit, so that may have saved his life, the fact that he wasn’t positioned straight up,” Leiss said.

Sharpe says it happens far too often when people aren’t paying attention or don’t slow down.

“It happens so fast and it’s just, it’s scary. I’m not going to lie to you,” Sharpe said.

“Until sitffer penalties are enforced and enforcement is stepped up, it’s hard.”

The State House and Senate passed the new Move Over bill at the end of October and it was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The new law will double the fines from the previous steer clear law, clarifies you need to move over and if you can’t, slow down to at least 20 MPH under the speed limit.

“We’ve got to get this out to the public to try to make it safer for everybody. It’s not about me. It’s about all of us,” Sharpe said.

He wants to make sure emergency responders and other drivers don’t become another statistic.

“I reach out to every one of you watching this, please slow down and just move over because I don’t want to see anybody get hurt. Plain and simple,” Sharpe said.

The Turnpike Commission is working on expanding awareness of the Move Over law between now and when it goes into effect April 27.

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