Steer Clear of Steer Clear Law Violations

DECEMBER 29, 2014

Let me set the scene: You’re driving on Interstate 79 when you round a curve and see that a state trooper has someone pulled over on the side of the road. You wonder to yourself if the guy currently having his license and registration checked will soon need a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer – was he speeding, did he cut someone off – maybe was a tail light out?

You did not, however, signal your intent to turn and then move into the passing lane.

Know what that means? You just violated Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear Law – and if you think it’s just one of those minor ones you’ll never get pulled over for, think again. This Pittsburgh criminal lawyer has absolutely represented people who’ve been charged with this very thing.

Not familiar with the ins and outs of the Steer Clear law? Here’s what it says: As a motorist, you are required to move at least one lane away from incidents where an emergency vehicle is pulled over on the side of the road.

And that’s when you see any emergency responder on the side of the road, not just a police officer. ‘Tis the season for dead batteries, so please know that other emergency responders include tow-truck operators.

And as winter weather rears its head, please be aware that state Department of Transportation vehicles involved in emergency assistance are also included under the Steer Clear Law.

It’s not just the person—cop, tow truck driver, or DOT vehicle—that you need to avoid. The law states that you must also avoid the area where the incident is happening. Those areas will be marked with flares or signs, and include areas where emergency personnel are administering aide alongside the road.

I already know what your next question is: What if you CAN’T move over a lane because of heavy traffic or poor road conditions? Then at least reduce your speed.

Here’s why: Motorists who fail to change lanes or reduce their speed could be cited. Failure to move over or slow down can result in a citation that carries a fine of as much as $250.

If you’re cited for another traffic violation in this situation (say you aren’t wearing your seatbelt), you could face double fines. And if a worker is injured in a crash in this type of situation? Expect a 90-day license suspension, and the need to contact a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer who focuses on traffic law defense.

If you find yourself holding a citation for failing to Steer Clear, call the expert and experienced Pittsburgh criminal lawyers at Logue Law. My associates and I can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t delay; call us today at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. Or, you can contact us online.

Update: September 25, 2017

A revision of this law was signed by Governor Tom Wolfe in July of 2017. The new law indicates that second-time offenders will receive a fine of up to $500, and the fine for a third offense could be as high as $1,000. The new fines take effect this month (September 2017.)

Source: PennDOT

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