Road Rules: Steer Clear Law

In September of 2006, Pennsylvania passed a law in which motorist are required to move over to the far lane or slow to a safe speed when approaching an emergency response area.   The law is under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code section 3327- Duty of driver in emergency response areas. 

What does the law require?

  • The law requires motorists to pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area if possible.  
  • 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.  

What are the penalties?

  • The penalty is a summary offense.  The first offense is a fine not more than $250.00, plus court costs and other fees.  The second offense is a fine not more than $500.00, plus court costs and other fees.  The third offense is a fine not more than $1,000.00. 
  • Multiple violation convictions can also result in the suspension of operator’s privileges. 
  • Fines and penalties may increase if a worker is injured.   

Who does this law protect?

  • An emergency response area is an area on or near a road where services are being provided by police, sheriffs, coroners, medical examiners, firefighters, fire police, fire marshalls, rescue personnel, emergency medical service personnel, towing and recovery personnel, hazardous material response team members and/or highway construction and maintenance personnel.

The goal of this law is the keep all emergency personnel, as well as our motorists safe!  

Author: Officer Laura Ashe







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