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State Police Troop M remind motorists of ‘Steer Clear Law’

The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop M, would like to remind motorists of Title 75 Section 3327 “Duty of Driver in Emergency Response Areas.”

Otherwise, known as the “Steer Clear Law” or “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle.

This law will help prevent injuries and save lives, but only if drivers follow the law and use common sense.

When approaching or passing an emergency response area, a person, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder, shall:

· Pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible; or

· If passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible, illegal or unsafe, pass the emergency response area at a careful and prudent reduced speed reasonable for safely passing the emergency response area.

Recently, Pennsylvania has experienced many dangerous incidents where drivers failed to obey the “Move Over Law”:

• On Jan. 5, EMS Supervisor Matthew Smelser, of Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services, was killed when his ambulance was struck by another vehicle. Smelser was on scene at I-70 in Westmoreland County assisting a previous crash when he was killed.

• On Jan. 26, Troopers from Troop H Harrisburg were conducting a traffic stop on I-283 North, Mile Marker 2.1, Swatara Township, Dauphin County, when upon exiting the patrol vehicle, one of the Troopers was struck in his left arm by the passenger’s side mirror of a passing motorist.

• On Jan. 29, Troopers from Troop M Fogelsville were conducting a traffic stop on I-78 Eastbound Mile Marker 44.3, Weisenberg Township, Lehigh County, when a box truck approached their location and the passenger side view mirror struck the drivers side view mirror of the patrol vehicle.

Emergency responders that you must move over for include police, fire department, EMS, tow trucks, PennDOT personnel, and other roadside assistance vehicles.

If you fail to move over, you could face a fine of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

Repeat offenders face a license suspension and violators who cause bodily injury or death of an emergency responder face additional license suspensions and fines of up to $10,000.

Please move over for all emergency responders. Their lives depend on it.

For information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.