No motorist wants to find themselves on the side of the road. Whether drivers had to pull over for a traffic stop or they ran into car troubles and had to stop immediately, the side of the road is generally a place people want to avoid.
It can be especially stressful to be in this position because it makes a person very vulnerable. All it takes is one miscalculation or oversight by another driver passing the area to crash and make the situation even worse. However, new state law is attempting to reduce the number of times this happens.
Moving over in emergency response areas
When you see emergency responders on the side of the road, do you know what you are supposed to do? Too many drivers in Pennsylvania do not. They drive past the scene going too fast and putting people in danger.
If there are police, fire or ambulance responders on the roadside with lights flashing or other warning signals in effect, the new law requires drivers to move over a lane if there is room to do so. If there is not enough room, drivers should slow down to at least 20 mph below the speed limit.
Drivers must also take similar precautions if there are tow trucks or waste management vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
These measures are designed to protect people from being struck by other vehicles while attending to an emergency situation.
Penalties of noncompliance
People who do not comply with the new law face, at minimum, a fine of $500 for a first-time offense. The amount increases for subsequent offenses, and license suspension can also be a possibility.
However, the worst consequence is when a driver who fails to move over or slow down hits someone and injures or kills them. These negligent drivers can face criminal and civil penalties, and the injured parties can face catastrophic damages from which they may not fully recover. Any person in this upsetting situation can discuss their legal options for compensation by calling the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222.