In December of 2018, a new law was passed in Pennsylvania but many residents are still unaware of it, or they’re simply ignoring it. The Slow Down to Get Around law requires vehicles to slow down when approaching certain large vehicles on the side of the road. The law was passed after a number of fatal accidents involving these vehicles occurred within the state over the past several years. However, if people don’t stop violating the law, that number may continue to increase.
The New Law
The Slow Down to Get Around law started as House Bill 1414 and was signed into law on October 19, 2018. It went into effect on December 18, 2018.
The law requires motorists to slow down when approaching a garbage or recycling truck, a mail truck, or roadside assistance trucks. When possible, it requires them to move over one lane to give the truck additional space.
These trucks were included in the law due to the fact that the workers on these trucks continually stop, get into and out of their trucks, and are on the road with other vehicles. If motorists can move over and provide more space, it’s safer for these workers to do their jobs.
The law also outlined lighting requirements for the trucks. Tow trucks now must display yellow and white lights, while probation officers in the First Judicial District of Philadelphia will display red lights. Privately-owned vehicles used to answer emergency calls are equipped with lights that are internally mounted. Garbage and recycling trucks are required to use yellow strobe lights.
Many have compared the Slow Down to Get Around law to the state’s Steer Clear law. This law has many of the same requirements for motorists when police and other emergency vehicles are pulled over on the side of the road. Hopefully the new law is more effective, as ten years after the Steer Clear law went into effect, drivers were still ignoring it.
Penalties for Ignoring the Law
The penalties for violating the Slow Down to Get Around law is a fine of $250. If the violation results in an injury, drivers will face a 90-day license suspension. However, drivers caught violating this law can face additional penalties as well.
Violating the new law, just like violating any traffic law, is considered negligence by the courts. When negligence leads to an accident that results in injuries, those that are hurt can hold at-fault parties liable through a personal injury lawsuit.
This means that an injured worker can hold drivers responsible if they fail to slow down or move over. It also means that other drivers can hold motorists that violate this law responsible if they are also involved in the accident. For example, if one driver attempts to change lanes to get around a garbage truck, but fails to check their blind spots and hits another driver, they can be held responsible.
If a driver is found liable for causing an accident when moving, or failing to move, around a truck the courts can require them to pay thousands of dollars in compensation.
A Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Claim Compensation
It’s so important Pennsylvanians become more aware of this new law, as it can save hundreds of lives on the roads. When a person violates this law, knowingly or not, it causes severe injuries for those involved. A Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can help make it right.
If you or someone you love has been in an accident, contact the Philadelphia auto accident lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin at (215) 486-0123. We help prove negligence so you can claim the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today so we can begin your discussing your case.