Heavy Holiday Traffic Can Put Emergency Responders at Increased Risk, Col. Miller Says
HARRISBURG – Noting a state trooper was injured after being struck by a vehicle while issuing a citation last month on Interstate 95, State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller today urged motorists to “steer clear” of police, emergency responders, road crews and tow-truck operators, when they’re carrying out their duties.
“Traffic will be heavy on our roads during the Memorial Day weekend,” Miller said. “Troopers will be stopped to write citations or respond to crashes and disabled vehicles. Make sure you proceed with caution, when you pass any emergency responder along the highway.”
Miller reminded drivers that Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear Law requires motorists to move to a lane that is not immediately adjacent to an emergency response area. These areas include, for example, locations where police are making traffic stops, construction crews are working on highways or tow trucks are responding to disabled vehicles.
If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they must proceed at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent,” according to law.
The law applies any time an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and where road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares, posted signs or other traffic control devices.
Failure to move over or slow down can result in a summary offense that carries a fine of up to $250. In addition, fines will be doubled for other traffic violations occurring in those areas. If the violation leads to a responder being injured, a 90-day license suspension could result.