Pennsylvania’s Expanded “Move Over” Law: Potential Penalties and Liabilities
Like many states, Pennsylvania has a law in effect that requires drivers to slow down or move over one lane when vehicles are stopped on the side of the road. The original purpose of the “move over” law was to protect emergency responders and road service workers who stop on the shoulder or in the right lane to assist other drivers or to provide other services. But in April 2021, Pennsylvania expanded its move over law to include protection for other vehicles, such as trucks and passenger cars, that may be disabled at the roadside.
The revised move over law recognizes that when any vehicle has pulled over, its occupants are at risk of serious injury from passing traffic. As such, drivers are now required, if possible, to move over one lane when non-emergency trucks, vans or passenger cars are stopped by the side of the road if those vehicles’ operators do at least two of the following:
- turn on their vehicle’s hazard lights
- display road flares
- place traffic cones or similar items on the roadway
If a driver cannot switch lanes because of traffic congestion while approaching a vehicle pulled off to the side of the road, that driver has to reduce the speed of his or her vehicle to 20 miles per hour lower than the posted speed limit.
As part of the move over law’s revision, the penalties have been increased. Violators now face these sanctions:
- Two points on their driver’s license
- $500 fine for a first offense, $1,000 fine for a second offense and $2,000 for a third offense
- A 90-day license suspension after three or more offenses
If a pedestrian or a passenger in a vehicle gets hurt because of a driver’s failing to slow down or move over as required by the new law, that driver may be subject to criminal prosecution and fines of up to $10,000.
If you’ve received a summons for violating the move over law, you could end up with big fines and insurance-raising points on your license. Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law can come to your defense. Call me at [in::phone] or contact me online for a free consultation to see if I can lower your points and reduce your fines.