PennDOT recently partnered with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to remind motorists to move over or slow down ahead of “National Move Over Awareness" Day, which was observed on Saturday, October 15.
Pennsylvania's Move Over Law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area who are unable to safely merge into a lane farther away from the response area to "pass the emergency response area at a speed of no more than 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit and reasonable for safely passing." An emergency response area is where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, or where road crews or emergency responders have lighted flares, posted signs, or try to warn travelers.
Drivers must move over or slow down for all responders, including police, fire, and ambulance crews, as well as stopped tow trucks and maintenance vehicles. The Move Over Law also mandates drivers change lanes or slow down when approaching disabled vehicles when at least two emergency displays, such as vehicle hazard lamps, road flares, and/or cones or caution signs are present.
Failure to move over or slow down will result in a citation that carries a fine of $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 and a 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. Penalties are increased for incidents that seriously injure or kill another person.
On average in the United States, two emergency responders are struck daily while working along the roadway. These incidents cause property damage, injuries, and in some cases fatalities.
In Pennsylvania, 152 emergency responders have been struck and killed while assisting on Pennsylvania roadways.
Video and photos from the virtual event can be found online at PAcast.com. Additional high-resolution photos are available on Flickr.
For more information on the Move Over Law, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.