BERWYN, PA – The Berwyn Fire Company was dispatched at 8:36 p.m. to a motor vehicle collision on Rt. 202 Southbound in the area of Valley Forge Rd. in Tredyffrin Township.
The initial 9-1-1 reports indicated a single vehicle had struck the highway barrier and was blocking the roadway. There was a steady rainfall occurring as emergency crews made their way to the scene.
Berwyn Deputy 2 arrived on location in Berwyn 2 and set-up in a safety blocking position behind a Tredyffrin Township Police Department vehicle in the right lane. Shortly after exiting the vehicle and conversing with the Officer on scene, a passing motorist struck the side of Berwyn 2. Both Deputy 2 and the Tredyffrin Police Officer were uninjured, while the striking vehicle made their way to the shoulder of the highway.
Berwyn Chief 2 and Engine 2-2 arrived soon after and provided safety blocking as both the original crash and incident with Berwyn 2 were being sorted out. Fortunately no first responders were injured due to this inattentive driver and vehicle damage was minor. The driver of the original crash was also uninjured.
All emergency vehicles and those involved from both collisions were clear of the highway by 9:30 p.m.
Due to this close call, it is important to share with the motoring public the critical importance of slowing down when approaching an emergency scene. Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area to move over to a lane farther away. Drivers who are unable to safely merge into a lane farther away from the emergency response area are required to slow to no more than 20 mph below the posted speed limit. An emergency response area is where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, or where road crews or emergency responders have lighted flares, posted signs, or try to warn travelers.
Act 105 of 2020, signed on October 29, 2020 and effective 180 days later on April 27, 2021:
• Creates a new point system that imposes two points for failure to merge into the lane not next to the emergency response area.
• Sets fines at $500 for first-time offenders, $1,000 for a second offense, and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
• Requires a 90-day license suspension for a third or subsequent offense. The license suspension also applies to incidents that seriously injure or kill another person. The suspension is six months if the person injured or killed is an emergency service provider or was near a disabled vehicle.
• Sets additional fines of up to $10,000 for violators who injure or kill an emergency service responder or a person in or near a disabled vehicle.
• Doubled fines for several traffic violations when committed in an emergency response area when first responders are present.