‘Steer Clear’ or ‘Move Over,’ but just do it

e believe it’s important to remind readers of certain issues that affect public health and safety.

So let’s talk about Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear Law.

The “Steer Clear” law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle.

The law is aimed at helping prevent injuries and save lives.

Of course, the law only works if drivers follow it and use common sense.

Here are the specific “Steer Clear” provisions under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Law:

3327. Duty of driver in emergency response areas.

(a) GENERAL RULE. When approaching or passing an emergency response area, a person, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder, shall:

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

(2) 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.

We’re confident most motorists “Steer Clear.”

And while you’re at it, steer clear of state highway crews when you can avoid driving directly next to them on highways.

We see virtually all tractor trailer truck drivers move to another lane when approaching a disabled fellow trucker on the berm.

It’s called common courtesy … and common sense.

However, statistics show that more must be done to make more people aware of the law.

The latest PennDOT statistics we found from three years ago showed 82 crashes involved parked emergency vehicles in the state.

The law came into effect in the mid-2000s.

In Ohio, it’s called the Move Over Law. Officials there passed the law after some 58 crashes involved Ohio police patrol cruisers, most of them with lights on parked along the berm after responding to emergencies. From 2013-2017, crashes at emergency scenes resulted in two fatalities and injuries to 34 citizens and 24 police officers.

So be smart or get smart and steer clear of emergency vehicles and responders working to keep you safe on and along our highways.


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