New Move Over Law Goes Into Effect, Violators Face Large Penalties

Lt. Whitney's vehicle after the collision, Aug 2019. Photo via Falls Township Police.

 

Pennsylvania’s new Move Over Law goes into effect Tuesday, April 27. It adds more penalties for drivers who don’t merge away or slow down when approaching an emergency response area.

One of the most common examples of an emergency response area on the roadway is a traffic stop with police. However, they can also include fire and ambulance crews along with tow trucks and maintenance vehicles.

On roads where it is safe for vehicles to merge away from an emergency response area, motorists must merge. If they are unable to merge, the motorist must slow down to 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit.

Lt. Whitney’s vehicle after the collision, Aug 2019. Photo via Falls Township Police.

Dash cam footage from a Falls Township Police vehicle during an August 2019 traffic stop shows what can happen if drivers don’t move over.

A speeding van hit the police SUV from behind, leaving a huge gash in the side of the police vehicle. If the officer had been getting out of his SUV, the consequences could have been deadly.

Drivers who fail to adhere to the new Move Over Law may face large fines and points on their license.

More information on penalties is available below, sourced from PennDOT.

  • Creates a new point system that imposes two points for failure to merge into the lane not next to the emergency response area.
  • Sets fines at $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
  • Requires a 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. The license suspension also applies to incidents that seriously injure or kill another person. The suspension is six months if the person injured or killed is an emergency service provider or was near a disabled vehicle.
  • Sets additional fines of up to $10,000 for violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle.
  • Doubled fines for several traffic violations when committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.