PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new law takes effect in Pennsylvania aimed at keeping people safe along roadways.
It’s called the Move Over Law and comes following the tragic and senseless death of a man years ago, with the law being stronger today and protecting more people.
The law provides new protections for drivers dropped on the side of the road.
There’s a large sign along Interstate 79 that drivers can’t miss. It alerts them about the law in effect.
“There’s a lot going on and a lot that you need to pay attention to,” said Trooper Melinda Bondarenka with the Pennsylvania State Police.
The legislation was introduced following KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan’s reporting on Scott Hirsh, a man who was hit and killed when his car broke down on the Parkway North in 2017.
After setting up warning flares, Hirsh was about to change a tire when a distracted driver crossed over two lanes and killed him.
That tragedy led to an expansion of the state’s Move Over Law. That law, which already protects first responders and road service workers, will now give disabled drivers and pedestrians those same protections.
“The motorist who is changing his own tire, or helping someone else, they have no protections whatsoever, and now this really helps to keep motorists safe,” said PennDOT’s Ben DeVor.
“This Move Over Law has teeth in it. So, it’s a $500 fine for the first offense, $1,000 for the second, and $2,000 fine for the third,” said the PA Turnpike’s Todd Leiss.
The law also requires to drivers to merge into a far lane or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit to give space to first responders, tow truck drivers and now disabled vehicles.