PennDOT, State Police Urge Motorists to Steer Clear of Emergency Responders
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police today urged motorists to “steer
clear” of police, emergency responders, road crews and tow-truck operators
while they carry out their duties.
To draw additional attention to the “Steer Clear” law, PennDOT will display
message from Dec. 6-13 on more than 200 electronic message signs across the
state. The message will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. whenever other
traffic alerts aren’t being displayed.
“Please remain aware and move over when flashing lights, flares, or
personnel appear on state roadways,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch
“This law is often ignored or disregarded due to speed, space or time. Let
workers, police and other responders focus on doing their jobs and
home safely every day.”
In October, a state police trooper was severely injured while removing
from Route 119 in Westmoreland County. The marked patrol car was positioned
that it blocked the right lane of the roadway, moving traffic into the left
lane. As the trooper began removing the debris from the roadway an SUV
approached the slowed traffic from the rear and was unable to stop in time
striking the trooper.
“When you see law enforcement personnel on a traffic stop, assisting at a
scene, or tending to a disabled motorist, please move over. If you cannot
over due to heavy traffic, please reduce your speed and proceed with
said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “Your life and that of the
responder may depend on it.”
Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear Law requires motorists to move to a lane that is
immediately adjacent to an emergency response area. Such areas include
locations where police are making traffic stops, where highway or
workers are involved in emergency assistance, or where tow trucks are
responding to disabled vehicles.
If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they
proceed at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent,” according to the law.
The law applies any time an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and
road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares or have posted signs
other traffic control devices.
Failure to move over or slow down can result in a summary offense that
a fine of up to $250. In addition, fines will be doubled for other traffic
violations occurring in these areas. If the violation leads to a first
responder being injured, a 90-day license suspension could result.
For more information on traffic safety in Pennsylvania, visit
To view a complete list of News Releases: Click
To unsubscribe: Click