Correction: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect fine for the first offense. The error has been corrected.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — See that 55 mile-per-hour speed limit sign? Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — it says 55 — but it actually means 35 if you’re in a construction zone and can’t move over one lane to protect workers.
That’s one new provision of Pennsylvania’s enhanced “move-over law,” which builds on the commonwealth’s two-decade-old “steer-clear law.” The tougher rules go into effect at midnight Tuesday. Key provisions include the following:
The rules now apply not only to emergency responders but also to stranded motorists (say, someone changing a tire) who have their hazard lights on.
You still have to move over one lane to protect those people on the side of the road, if you can. If you can’t safely move over one lane, you must slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit: 35 in a 55-mile-per-hour zone, for example.
A first offense now carries a $500 fine, up from $250.
Craig Shuey, chief operating officer of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, says the new rules require drivers to do their part, alongside changes the commission itself has made.
For example, he said, “Our work zones are standardized … We’ve minimized the number of signs we put out” to reduce confusion.
Shuey spoke Monday at an event recognizing National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is this week. This time of year is commonly a busy construction season in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as crews perform maintenance such as filling potholes that develop during the winter.