Kortz introduces amendment to bill designed to strengthen ‘Steer Clear Law’

 

HARRISBURG, Oct. 20 – An amendment to a Senate bill to rebrand and strengthen the current “Steer Clear Law” to provide further protections for disabled vehicles, even if an emergency responder isn’t present, was unanimously adopted today.

State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, said his amendment to S.B. 1281, also known as the “Move Over Law,” would require a driver approaching or passing a disabled vehicle to move over to one lane, or if that is not possible, to pass the vehicle at a rate of not more than 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. In addition, the disabled vehicle must display at least two visual markings to passing traffic, such as hazard lights, caution signs or road flares.

“Three years ago, Scott Hirsh, a constituent of mine, was struck and killed by a distracted driver as he was changing a tire on his camper – despite him doing everything right, including pulling off onto the shoulder of the roadway and using road flares and caution signs,” Kortz said. “Due to a lack of applicable state laws, the Allegheny County district attorney and state police were unable to prosecute the driver. My amendment would help protect drivers like Scott by including disabled vehicles into the bill and increase the penalties for drivers who fail to move over or slow down.”

Kortz said the bill would establish a new point system for a “Move Over” violation, double the fines for a summary offense, increase public awareness, and implement new requirements for drivers approaching an emergency response area.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for further action.