First Responders on Accident Scenes to Be Granted Added Protections under New Legislation

HARRISBURG (June 14, 2017) A bill to provide added legal protections to first responders who help clear accident scenes was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today, according to Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-Cambria) who serves as the committee’s vice-chairman.

Under the provisions of Senate Bill 753, introduced by the Transportation Committee Chairman, Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-Montgomery), municipalities, state agencies, and traffic incident professionals would not be held liable for damage to vehicles after a traffic accident, when clearing the scene of an accident.

The clearing of the scene includes removing damaged vehicles, investigating the cause of the accident, rescuing accident victims from vehicles, suppressing fires, responding to hazardous materials, and temporarily repairing the roadway for travel.  An exception exists in cases of gross negligence.

“I commend Sen. Rafferty and Sen. Sabatina for seeing this need to protect our first responders, who often must respond to multi-vehicle accidents in heavy traffic, risking their own lives to rescue others,” Langerholc said. “Our police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other first responders should not be burdened with fears of liability as they help injured victims and try to restore traffic flow.”

The bill now goes to the full Senate for its consideration.


CONTACT:   Gwenn Dando       (717) 599-1164