Gridlock bill fails passage in Pennsylvania

| Wednesday, November 24, 2004

An effort to reduce gridlock caused by accidents in Pennsylvania has died.

The “Steer it Clear” bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kate Harper, R-Lower Gwynedd, sought to require drivers to remove their vehicles from traffic lanes after minor accidents.

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee failed to take up the measure before the session concluded early Sunday, Nov. 21, effectively killing it for the year. The bill – HB2606 – previously passed the House.

“Pennsylvania roadways are one of the most dangerous places to be after an accident,” Harper said at the time of the bill’s House passage. “Traffic accidents not only cause horrible traffic congestion, but often also lead to additional accidents. A simple fender-bender sometimes can cause a secondary accident involving fatalities in many cases. This legislation would certainly reduce that risk.”

The bill would have required drivers to remove accident vehicles from traffic lanes, as long as the vehicles were still drivable and no serious injuries were suffered.

Drivers who complied with the bill would not have been considered liable or at fault regarding the cause of the accident solely for moving their vehicles from the scene. Drivers would, however, still have been required to stay in the vicinity of the accident scene to provide information.

The bill would have required individuals who failed to remove their vehicles from the roadway to be charged with a summary offense punishable by a $50 fine.

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