Allegheny County Seal

RULES OF THE ROAD

Presented By:

ALLEGHENY COUNTY CHIEFS OF POLICE ASSOCIATION


ACCIDENTS

Accidents are classified into two (2) groups:

Reportable accidents are those where either one of the vehicles involved needs to be towed or an individual is injured.

Duties: Police agency must be contacted, accident report is taken and turned into the State.

NOTE: failure to report is a citable offense.

Non Reportable accidents are the fender benders and minor accidents where no one is injured and the vehicle can be driven from the scene.

Duties: Police agency need not be contacted, but you are responsible to exchange drivers, owners, and insurance information with the other party (s) involved.

NOTE: If you should cause damage to an attended or unattended vehicle or property and fail to stop and give proper information, the fine is $300.00 or not more than 90 days imprisonment, or both.

AUDIBLE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

All vehicles must have a horn that operates.

BUMPERS

Bumpers are required to be attached to front and rear of all vehicles in which the bumper was attached from the manufacturer. (Bumper must meet specifications.)

* Certain trucks have rear bumper as an option. If the truck came with a bumper from the manufacturer, you cannot remove it.

* Wooden bumpers are not permitted except for road service vehicles or wreckers.

DEPOSITING WASTE ON HIGHWAY

Throwing waste materials from vehicles carries a $300.00 fine and you can be requested to do community clean up.

DRIVER'S LICENSE

Must be carried at all times while operating a motor vehicle.

* Photo card is valid for 60 days from validation date.

* Class & Restrictions (Listings attached) must be adhered to.

* Change of address or name - Operator has 15 days to notify the Department of any changes.

* Lost, misplaced, or stolen license can be replaced by contacting Department, Notary Public, or Local State Representative.

NOTE: Driving is a privilege allotted by the state, not a right. However, an "occupational limited license" can be issued following a license suspension under limited circumstances.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

* Failure to take breath, urine, or blood test as requested by police officer carries mandatory one year suspension of driving privileges.

* Restrictions on alcoholic beverages - unlawful to consume alcoholic beverage or controlled substance while operating vehicle on highway.

DRIVING WITHOUT LIGHTS TO AVOID IDENTIFICATION

Unlawful to extinguish lights so a plate or type of vehicle cannot be determined.

EXHAUST SYSTEMS

All components of exhaust system shall be in a safe operating condition (i.e., securely attached, no leakage). Also system shall extend and discharge to outside edge of vehicle of body.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Fire extinguishers are required for all vehicles towing a house trailer, also for motor homes and for vehicles with a truck mounted camper. (Also includes school buses and trucks over Class 2).

FLEEING OR ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE POLICE OFFICER

Person who fails to stop for audible or visual signal given by a police officer, commits a misdemeanor of 2nd degree, and is subject to a $500.00 fine in addition to a possible jail sentence.

FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY

No driver shall follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable & prudent having due regard for speed and traffic.

HEADPHONES

Use of mono or stereo headphones is prohibited (exceptions for those who use to aid in hearing).

HANDICAP PARKING

Parking in space without proper plate or placard is prohibited. If you are transporting a handicap person a placard is required.

NOTE: Forms to apply for a handicap plate or placard can be obtained from the Department and must be signed by attending physician and police agency.

IMPROPER LANE CHANGE

Operator shall signal when changing lanes.

INSPECTION

Inspection expires on the last day of the month indicated by inspection sticker (i.e., 7-07 would be July 31, 2007).

* If number of month has a slash line through it or "IM" above the number, emission inspection required (this is also stated on Registration card).

* If windshield should be broken, inspection sticker on a piece of glass is valid for 5 days (with receipt of installation). After 5 day period, vehicle must be inspected again.

NOTE: If you return to place where you had the vehicle inspected within 5 day period, they shall adhere a new sticker to windshield for cost of sticker (no inspection required).

* Displaying a fictitious or stolen sticker issued to another vehicle, carries a $100.00 fine for first offense and $200.00 - $500.00 fine or 90 day imprisonment, or both for subsequent fine.

NOTE: Stolen stickers - the operator could also be charged with Criminal Offense.

* Fine for expired inspection sticker is up to $25.00 plus costs.

INSURANCE CARD

Must be carried with vehicle at all times and presented to a police officer upon demand.

NOTE: No insurance and involved in an accident? Department may suspend operating privileges and revoke registration of vehicle.

LENGTH OF PROJECTING LOADS

If load of any vehicle extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle, a red flag or cloth no less than 12 inches square shall be displayed at the end of the load.

NOTE: During hours of darkness, a red light shall be used instead of flag/cloth.

LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS

All front and rear lighting must be in place, in working order, and have lenses intact.

NOTE: Rear lighting includes brake lights, turn signals, and license plate lights. Any light out is a citable offense.

* Reverse lights are not to be lit when vehicle is in forward motion.

* Fog lights shall be on a separate switch working in conjunction with the vehicle s low beams. Fog lights are to go out when high beams are activated.

* Driving lights shall be on a separate switch working in conjunction with the high beams. Driving lights are to out when low beams are in operation.

NOTE: Fog and driving lights must be mounted on the front of the vehicle not less than 20 inches from center to center at a height no less than 12 inches nor more than 42 inches above level surface.

* Headlights are not permitted to be obstructed by any auxiliary equipment on, in, or in front of the headlight (i.e., smoked glass covers).

* Ornamental lighting lights which serve no purpose and are not original equipment are prohibited.

LIMITATIONS ON BACKING

Driver may not back any vehicle unless it may be done safely without interfering with traffic and only after yielding right of way to moving traffic and pedestrians.

NOTE: Backing is not permitted on any shoulder or roadway of a limited access (i.e., I-79, PA Turnpike, etc.).

OBSTRUCTIONS

Operator's view shall not be obstructed.

* Snow/ice on front, rear, or sides.

* Sunscreening (tinted windows) on windshield, front wing, or front side windows. Sunscreening may be factory but must conform to department regulation.

* No decals, except those specified by the state, on windshield or front sides. Rear side and back cannot cover more than 20% of window.

* Items not permitted to hang from inside rear view mirror.

* Rear window louvers permitted if vehicle equipped with side mirror on both sides of vehicle.

OPENING AND CLOSING VEHICLE DOORS

No person shall open a car door unless it can be done safely and without interfering with traffic. Also a door shall not be left open, on side of moving traffic, for time no longer than to load or unload passengers.

PASSING SCHOOL BUS WITH RED ACTIVATED LIGHTS

School bus can be passed if bus is on a separated roadway such as a divided highway. Division of highway must be a physical barrier (i.e., dirt, grass, guardrail, etc.).

Penalty for violation- $100.00 fine, 5 points against your license, 60 days suspension.

Points:
0-5 mph over = 0 points
6-10 mph over = 2 points
11-15 mph over = 3 points
16 -25 mph over = 4 points
26 - 30 mph over = 5 points
31 - over = 5 points and Departmental Hearing

NOTE: Points are removed from your license at a rate of three (3) per year if no violations are incurred during that year's period. You may request a copy of your driving record from the department.

CARELESS DRIVING

Any person who drives in careless disregard for safety of persons or property.

SECURING LOADS ON VEHICLES

Failure to secure load properly on vehicle if convicted shall pay fine between $50.00 and $100.00.

SPEEDING

Approved speed timing devices may be used by the appropriate police agencies.

* Radar to be used by the PA State Police.

* ESP & VASCAR PLUS may be used by local authorities as well as the PA State Police.

* Certified Speedometer must be timed for a length of .3 of a mile. May be used by local authorities and PA State Police.

RESTRICTIONS ON SPEED IN CERTAIN ZONES W/ SPEED TIMING DEVICES

* 55 mph zone - No person shall be convicted of a speed less than 6 mph over the posted 55 mph zone.

* Zones other than 55 mph - No person shall be convicted of a speed less than 10 mph over the posted speed limit.

* Clocking by the certified speedometer - No restrictions on speed over posted limit.

FINES

Fines are calculated as follows:
$35.00 fine + $2.00 for every 1 mph over the first 5 mph over the posted speed limit.
For Example: (i.e., timed 50 mph in a posted 35 mph zone = $35.00 + $20.00 = $55.00 Fine) (15 mph over, $2.00 x 10 mph = $20.00).

REGISTRATION

Registration must be carried with vehicle at all times. Failure to comply is a citable offense.

* Signature is required to be on registration card.

* Change of name or address must be done within 15 days of occurrence.

PLATE

* Plate cannot be transferred without proper paperwork.

* Plate cannot be obstructed in any manner.

*Expiration sticker must be affixed.

NOTE: Lost, stolen or misplaced registration card or plate may be replaced by contacting department, Notary Public, messenger service, or local state representative. Lost or stolen plate must be reported to local police so that it may be entered into computer database.

REGISTERED GROSS WEIGHT

No trucks shall exceed its registered gross weight. This includes all classes of trucks.

SEAT BELTS

Seat belts are mandatory for those persons over 4 years of age.

**All drivers are responsible to secure children from birth to age four in an approved child restraint system. There are no exceptions to the law.**

STOP SIGNS

Operator must come to a complete stop at a stop sign at a point where the operator has a clear view of oncoming traffic. Also, operator at stop sign must yield to oncoming traffic which has the right if way.

TELEVISION EQUIPMENT

Television equipment shall not be used forward of the back or the driver's seat or otherwise visible by the driver.

TIRES

Tires shall have sufficient tread and not show excessive wear (i.e., cords showing through rubber) 2/32 inches between two adjacent treads.

* Tires shall not extend outside fender wells. Fender flares may be used.

* Ice grips and tire studs shall only be used between November 1 and April 15.

Fines for using past deadline:
April 16 to May 31 - $35.00
June 1 to June 30 - $45.00
July 1 to October 31 - $55.00

NOTE: When traveling to another state with studded tires, you should check with the State Police of that state to see if studded tires are permitted.

TOWING A VEHICLE

Connection between the vehicle shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed. Distance between vehicles shall not exceed 15 feet.

* If distance exceeds 5 feet, a red flag/cloth not less than 12 inches square shall be centered upon connection between the two vehicles.

NOTE: At time of darkness, a red light shall replace the red flag/cloth.

* If ball and socket type hitch is used, two safety chains, of equal length, must also be used.

TRAFFIC CITATION

A traffic citation is issued for violation of the PA Motor Vehicle Code. Title 75.

* Signature at time of issuance is only an acknowledgment that you received a copy of the citation and not an admission of guilt.

* After receiving citation you may:

1. Pay fine as stated on citation.

2. You have 10 days to request a hearing in front of the District Justice (instructions on back of citation).

* If found guilty on District Justice level, you may appeal to County Court of Summary Appeals, and receive a "Trial DeNovo", or an entirely new trial.

UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLE

No person shall permit a vehicle to stand without placing the gear shift in a position to impede movement, stopping the engine, and removing key from the ignition. On a grade, the front wheels shall be turned toward the curb and brake be set effectively.

YIELD SIGNS

Operator entering roadway shall reduce his speed or stop whichever is necessary to enter the roadway safely. After slowing down or stopping, the operator shall yield the right of way to any vehicle which constituted a hazard.

NOTE: Vehicles do not have to change lanes so that you may enter the roadway.

REMEMBER

If an unmarked car signals you to pull over at night and you are not sure the person is a Police Officer, put your 4-way flashers and dome light on and slowly drive to the nearest well lit public area!

-- Unmarked police cars used for traffic stops are equipped with RED & BLUE lights.--