HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Drivers who ignore Pennsylvania’s “Steer Clear” law will face harsher penalties beginning in September.

State Sen. John Rafferty (R-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) announced Friday his legislation to crack down on repeat offenders, Senate Bill 288, has been signed into law.

Rafferty’s legislation maintains a fine of up to $250 for a first offense but sets of a maximum fine of $500 for a second violation. For a third or subsequent offense, drivers would face up to a $1,000 fine, and a 90-day license suspension if a serious injury or death is involved.

The “Steer Clear” law enacted in 2001 requires drivers to put at least one lane of space between themselves and an emergency response area along the side of the road, when possible. If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they must slow down.

Emergency responders include police, firefighters, tow truck operators, and highway workers.

The enhanced penalties take effect in 60 days.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.