§ 3327. Duty of driver in emergency response areas.
(a) General rule.--When approaching or passing an emergency response area, a person, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder, shall:
(1) pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible; or
(2) 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.
(b) Penalty.--Any person violating subsection (a) commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, pay:
(1) For a first offense, a fine of not more than $250.
(2) For a second offense, a fine of not more than $500.
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not more than $1,000.
(b.1) Suspension of operating privilege.--
(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), in accordance with section 1540 (relating to surrender of license), the department shall suspend the operating privilege of any person for 90 days upon receiving a certified record of the driver's conviction, adjudication of delinquency or admission into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or a preadjudication program for a violation of subsection (a), if the certified conviction:
(i) indicates the violation resulted in serious bodily injury to or death of another person; or
(ii) is the driver's third or subsequent conviction for a violation of subsection (a).
(2) Upon receiving a certified record of the driver's conviction, adjudication of delinquency or admission into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or a preadjudication program for a violation of subsection (a), in accordance with section 1540, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of the driver in accordance with the following:
(i) For a period of six months if the certified conviction, adjudication of delinquency or admission into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or a preadjudication program indicates the violation resulted in the serious bodily injury of an emergency service responder.
(ii) For a period of one year if the certified conviction, adjudication of delinquency or admission into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or a preadjudication program indicates the violation resulted in the death of an emergency service responder.
(b.2) Penalties for bodily injury or death.--In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, a driver who violates this section and causes bodily injury to, serious bodily injury to or the death of an emergency service responder commits an offense and shall, upon conviction, as follows:
(1) For causing bodily injury as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2301 (relating to definitions), pay a fine of not more than $1,000.
(2) For causing serious bodily injury, pay a fine of not more than $5,000.
(3) For causing death, pay a fine of not more than $10,000.
(c) Marking.--An emergency response area shall be clearly marked with road flares, caution signs or any other traffic-control device which law enforcement officials may have at their immediate disposal or visual signals on vehicles meeting the requirements of Subchapter D of Chapter 45 (relating to equipment of authorized and emergency vehicles).
(d) Reports by emergency service responders.--
(1) An emergency service responder observing a violation of subsection (a) may prepare a written, signed report which indicates that a violation has occurred. To the extent possible, the report shall include the following information:
(i) Information pertaining to the identity of the alleged violator.
(ii) The license number and color of the vehicle involved in the violation.
(iii) The time and approximate location at which the violation occurred.
(iv) Identification of the vehicle as an automobile, station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle or other type of vehicle.
(2) Within 48 hours after the violation occurs, the emergency service responder shall deliver a copy of the report to a police officer having authority to exercise police power in the area where the violation occurred. If the police officer believes that the report established a sufficient basis for the issuance of a citation, the officer shall file a citation and a copy of the report with the issuing authority. If the issuing authority determines that the report and citation establish a sufficient basis for the issuance of a summons, a summons shall be issued in accordance with general rules governing the institution of proceedings in summary traffic offense cases. The issuing authority shall send the defendant a copy of the citation, together with a statement that it was filed by the police officer named in the citation on the basis of information received.
(3) A person may institute a proceeding pursuant to this subsection or in accordance with any means authorized by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(e) Fines to be doubled.--In addition to any penalty as provided in subsections (b) and (b.2), the fine for any of the following violations when committed in an emergency response area manned by emergency service responders shall be double the usual amount:
Section 3102 (relating to obedience to authorized persons directing traffic).
Section 3111 (relating to obedience to traffic-control devices).
Section 3114 (relating to flashing signals).
Section 3302 (relating to meeting vehicle proceeding in opposite direction).
Section 3303 (relating to overtaking vehicle on the left).
Section 3304 (relating to overtaking vehicle on the right).
Section 3305 (relating to limitations on overtaking on the left).
Section 3306 (relating to limitations on driving on left side of roadway).
Section 3307 (relating to no-passing zones).
Section 3310 (relating to following too closely).
Section 3312 (relating to limited access highway entrances and exits).
Section 3323 (relating to stop signs and yield signs).
Section 3325 (relating to duty of driver on approach of emergency vehicle).
Section 3361 (relating to driving vehicle at safe speed).
Section 3707 (relating to driving or stopping close to fire apparatus).
Section 3710 (relating to stopping at intersection or crossing to prevent obstruction).
Section 3714 (relating to careless driving).
Section 3736 (relating to reckless driving).
Section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance).
(e.1) Public awareness.--The department shall educate the public of the provisions of this section as it deems appropriate.
(f) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "emergency response area" means any of the following:
(1) The area in which emergency service responders render emergency assistance to individuals on or near a roadway or a police officer is conducting a traffic stop or systematic check of vehicles or controlling or directing traffic as long as the emergency vehicle is making use of visual signals meeting the requirements of Subchapter D of Chapter 45.
(2) The area in which contractors or employees of a public utility, a municipally owned utility or an electric cooperative provide disaster emergency-related services, including, but not limited to, the repair, renovation, installation, construction and activities related to damaged, impaired or destroyed infrastructure, within the first 72 hours after a declared emergency or until the expiration of a declared emergency, whichever is later, as long as the vehicles used to provide disaster emergency-related services are making use of visual signals as authorized under section 4572(b) (relating to visual signals on authorized vehicles).
(June 26, 2001, P.L.734, No.75, eff. 60 days; Sept. 30, 2003, P.L.120, No.24, eff. Feb. 1, 2004; July 10, 2006, P.L.1086, No.113, eff. 60 days; Oct. 19, 2010, P.L.557, No.81, eff. 60 days; Nov. 4, 2015, P.L.227, No.61, eff. 60 days; Nov. 24, 2015, P.L.431, No.70, eff. 6 months; July 7, 2017, P.L.301, No.20, eff. 60 days)
2017 Amendment. Act 20 amended subsecs. (b) and (b.1)(1).
2015 Amendments. Act 61 amended subsec. (f) and Act 70 amended subsecs. (b.1) and (e) and added subsec. (b.2).
2010 Amendment. The preamble of Act 81 provided that Act 81 may be referred to as the Sgt. Michael C. Weigand Law.
Cross References. Section 3327 is referred to in sections 3732, 3732.1 of this title.