2008-10-09 / Entertainment

PennDOT Encourages Motorists To "Steer Clear"

Motorists required to move over or slow down for roadside incidents

To improve safety during roadside incidents, PennDOT is reminding motorists to move over.

The "steer clear" law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they must reduce their speed.

"This is a very important law because it can save lives," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "While it may seem like common sense, many motorists speed by these incidents. We need all drivers to remember to move over since this law is designed to provide added safety for those people responding to situations along our roadways."

Motorists must move over or reduce their speed when they see emergency responders, including law enforcement, fire officials, emergency medical technicians, tow truck operators or highway workers.

The law applies any time an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing or where road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares, posted signs or other traffic control devices. Failure to move over or slow down can result in a summary offense that carries a fine of up to $250. In addition, fines will be doubled for traffic violations occurring in these areas. If that violation leads to a worker being injured, a 90- day license suspension could result.

In cases where law enforcement may not be present, the law allows road workers and emergency responders to report violations by motorists. Law enforcement can issue citations based on these reports.

More than 1,800 citations have been issued since the law went into effect in 2006. For more information regarding the "steer clear" law, visit: www.dot.state.pa.us.

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