PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Driving is a part of life for many Pennsylvanians in order to get to work or places they want to visit in their spare time.
There are many laws in place that protect drivers and make sure that people are driving safely. But, sometimes, people break these laws without even knowing them.
Here are five laws that Pennsylvania drivers could be breaking without even knowing.
1. Windshield obstruction
According to Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Code:
“No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any object or material hung from the inside rearview mirror or otherwise hung, placed or attached in such a position as to materially obstruct, obscure or impair the driver’s vision through the front windshield or any manner as to constitute a safety hazard”
This means you can’t drive with anything hanging from your rear-view mirror that can pose an obstruction. For example, handicap placards are to be taken down before driving and only should be used when the vehicle is parked.
2. Obscuring License Plates
Title 75 states of the Pa. Code states:
It is unlawful to display on any vehicle a registration plate that:
(1) is so dirty as to prevent the reading of the number or letters thereon at a reasonable distance;
(2) is obscured in any manner which inhibits the proper operation of an automated red light enforcement system in place pursuant to section 3116 (relating to automated red light enforcement systems in first class cities) or 3117 (relating to automated red light enforcement systems in certain municipalities); or
(3) is otherwise illegible at a reasonable distance or is obscured in any manner.75 PA Cons Stat § 1332 (2014)
This means you cannot place anything in front of the license plate that can obscure it from view. This can mean certain license plate covers and other devices that can make the numbers and letters of a plate hard to read.
The penalty for this is a summary offense and could be sentenced to pay a fine of $100.
3. Turn Signals
This one is a big pet peeve for many drivers, and it is against the law to not use your turn signals. The Pa. Code states the following regarding lane changes:
Upon a roadway no person shall turn a vehicle or move from one traffic lane to another or enter the traffic stream from a parked position unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this section.Title 75 Pa .C.S.A. Vehicles § 3334. Turning movements and required signals
The law also states if you are traveling 35 miles per hour or above, you must signal 300 feet before you are to make your turn. If you are going 35 miles per hour or under, you can wait until you are 100 feet away from your turn to use the signal.
According to Fienman Defense, if you are found guilty of a turn signal violation you will have to pay a fine but you will not receive any points.
4. Use of interactive wireless communications
The law is very strict when it comes to using any wireless communication device while driving:
No driver shall operate a motor vehicle on a highway or trafficway in this Commonwealth while using an interactive wireless communications device to send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion. A person does not send, read or write a text-based communication when the person reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in an interactive wireless communications device for the purpose of activating or deactivating a voice communication or a telephone call.PA Title 75 § 3316. Prohibiting text-based communications.
If caught using a device while driving, the law states you can be given a summary offense and pay a fine of $50 if convicted.
5. Use of Passing Lane
Pennsylvania Law State says the following about the limitation of overtaking on the left:
No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center or marked center line of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless the left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.Pa Code Title 75 Section 3305
The law also states, if wanting to pass:
“In every event, the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event, the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.”