Drivers warned about Pa. Move Over Law

Police officers conducting traffic stops have enough to worry about without feeling the wind from a car passing inches away.

The 2006 Pennsylvania Move Over Law, also known as Steer Clear, requires motorists who are driving through an emergency response area to move over, if possible.

“It is the duty of a driver to make every effort possible to move over into the passing lane when emergency lights are activated,” Warren-based Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jen Bovee said.

If it is not possible to safely move into the next lane, the law requires motorists to slow down and “pass the emergency response area at a careful and prudent reduced speed reasonable for safely passing the emergency response area.”

The law applies to any emergency responders at the side of a road.

“This law is for the safety of all law enforcement and first responders who are risking their lives to service the public,” Bovee said.

She said police and other responders have noticed that motorists are violating the Move Over Law

“We’ve been having issues with it,” Youngsville Borough Police Chief Todd Mineweaser said.

“It’s definitely a problem,” he said. “There’s a law like that to protect us. Police officers are being killed out here.”

Bovee said she is hoping to get the word out.

“They say, ‘We didn’t even know,'” Mineweaser said of many of those he cites for violating the law.

They are not, however, likely to forget. “It’s a hefty fine,” Mineweaser said.

Violators can be fined up to $250.

Troopers have issued numerous citations, especially along Route 6 in Starbrick, according to Bovee.

“Motorists should be diligent and observant while operating a vehicle,” Bovee said. “They should use caution while approaching or passing any vehicle which is sitting on the side of the highway.”