HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s revamped Move Over Law goes into effect Tuesday during National Work Zone Awareness Week highlighting the critical importance of safe driving through work zones.
The Move Over Law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching an emergency response area. Updates to the law, which include a new point system for violators and sets a fine of $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 plus 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense, take effect on April 27.
“In addition to today being the beginning of Work Zone Awareness week, changes made to Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law go into effect tomorrow,” Lieutenant Colonel Price explained. “Last year, 55 state police vehicles were struck while troopers were responding to traffic stops, disabled motorists, or crash scenes. The goal of the Move Over Law is to prevent these dangerous situations.”
The revamped Move Over Law also mandates drivers change lanes or slow down when approaching disabled vehicles when at least two emergency displays, such as vehicle hazard lamps, road flares, and/or cones or caution signs are present.
In an effort to change unsafe driving behaviors in work zones, Pennsylvania implemented the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWSZE) program in March 2020. The AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices. The systems are operational in active work zones where workers are present.
“Construction season too often means hazards for the men and women who are delivering improved roads and bridges,” said PennDOT Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Melissa Batula. “Work zones may be a temporary inconvenience, but these workers all deserve to get home safely. Please slow down and never drive distracted, especially in work zones where roadway conditions can change every day.”
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According to PennDOT data, in 2020 there were 1,412 work zone crashes, resulting in 15 fatalities. Additionally, since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1940.
National Work Zone Awareness Week runs through April 30. The theme of this year’s work-zone safety campaign is “Drive safe. Work safe. Save lives.”
For more information on work zone safety or Pennsylvania’s updated Move Over Law, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.