Steer Clear? No, Move Over

Driving on any of Bucks County’s roads comes with certain obligations and duties. Among these is the requirement that people take appropriate steps to provide emergency responders with a safe place to perform their jobs. A failure to move into a new lane, if possible, or at least slow down is a traffic offense that could result in serious consequences.

Understanding the local traffic laws is the obligation of every driver. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse, and police officers have the ability to issue tickets or even arrest drivers who violate the laws.

A Bucks County, PA, car accident lawyer could provide more information about the Commonwealth’s new Move Over Law. They could also help individuals who have suffered injuries because of a failure of other drivers to take proper action to avoid emergency vehicles.

New Traffic Laws Place Additional Burdens on Drivers in Bucks County

Every traffic law exists to promote overall safety on the road. Of the utmost importance are the laws that require motorists to provide a safe space for emergency responders to do their jobs. This includes firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.

According to an article published by Fox 8 TV, the Commonwealth’s new Move Over Law goes into effect on April 27, 2021. This law replaces the old Steer Clear Law that required drivers to move into a lane further from emergency responders or at least to slow down.

The Move Over Law provides more specific instructions. It states that drivers must still move into a new lane. However, if they must remain in their current lane, they must reduce their speed by at least 20 miles per hour under the speed limit. A failure to follow this law will result in a fine of $500 and two points on a driver’s license for a first offense. Subsequent violations can see the fines rise to as much a $2,000. Finally, third or subsequent offenses will see a court suspend a license for 90 days. Additionally, any incident that involves an injury or a fatality will also result in this suspension. In short, the new Move Over Law increases the penalties for violations and places additional burdens on drivers to avoid endangering emergency responders.

Helping People Injured Due to a Failure to Move Over

Every driver in Bucks County has an obligation not to place others at an unreasonable risk of harm. This includes following the rules of the road as well as using common sense to avoid collisions. Sadly, accidents remain a leading cause of personal injuries throughout the Commonwealth.

A Bucks County car accident attorney could help people who suffer injuries in accidents to seek out appropriate compensation for their losses. Failures to move over for emergency responders can endanger both the responders and the people they are helping. For example, an accident may occur while a police officer has pulled a driver to the side of the road to address a broken taillight. Drivers who are involved in collisions in these situations are almost certainly at fault for the resulting damage.

In fact, the Commonwealth’s new law could help to pursue cases for compensation following an injury. A concept of the law called negligence per se states that a person is presumably at fault for an accident if they were violating a law at the time of the incident. As a result, a traffic court conviction for a failure to follow the Move Over Law is valuable and potent evidence in a personal injury claim for compensation. A Bucks County car accident lawyer could help to pursue cases following a violation of the law.

The New Move Over Law Aims to Increase Safety on the Road

It is an unfortunate fact that emergency responders such as police officers and paramedics take their lives in their hands while by the side of the road. Drivers already had an obligation to move into another lane, if possible, and to slow down if not. However, the new Move Over Law increases these requirements. Now, drivers must slow to at least 20 miles per hour under the speed limit if they are unable to change lanes. Hopefully, these new laws will serve to protect first responders and the people they are helping.

Sadly, accidents can and will still occur. A Bucks County car accident lawyer could help people who have suffered injuries due to another driver’s failure to follow these laws.

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