Rules of the Road
Steer Clear Law
The 'Steer Clear' law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. This law will help prevent injuries and save lives, but only if drivers follow the law and use common sense.
Pennsylvania vehicle code law: 3327. Duty of driver in emergency response areas
When approaching or passing an emergency response area, a person, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder, shall:
- pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible; or
- if passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible, illegal or unsafe, pass the emergency response area at a careful and prudent reduced speed reasonable for safely passing the emergency response area.
Violators commit a summary offense. Penalties include a fine of up to $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and 1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. Repeat offenders may have their license suspended, and violators who cause bodily injury or the death of an emergency service provider face additional fines of up to $10,000. In addition, fines for several traffic violations are doubled when committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.
Clearing off your Vehicle
In the winter it is important to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle. Not only does it prevent a hazard from snow and ice that may fall from your vehicle, it also provides an unobstructed view.
Pennsylvania vehicle code law: 3720. Snow and ice dislodged or falling from moving vehicle
When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury as defined in section 3742 (relating to accidents involving death or personal injury), the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.
When your wipers are on, your headlights are also required to be on.
Pennsylvania vehicle code law: 4302. Periods for requiring lighted lamps
The operator of a vehicle upon a highway shall display the lighted head lamps and other lamps and illuminating devices required under this chapter for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles, at the following times:
- Between sunset and sunrise.
- Any time when the operator cannot discern a person or vehicle upon the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, including rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog, smoke or smog.
- Any time when the vehicle's windshield wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to precipitation or atmospheric moisture, including rain, snow, sleet or mist.