PennDOT, State Police Highlight Highway Safety Laws to Increase Awareness, Safety

Harrisburg, PA (February 18, 2016) Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S.Richards and State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker today urged drivers to
review and obey driver safety laws that can often be overlooked.

“We look to create awareness surrounding laws that drivers may not pay attention to, but also to provide reminders as to what each law entails,”  Secretary Richards said. “PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police feel it is important to raise awareness through education and outreach, but to also spark conversation via social media.”

Ahead of the state’s Highway Safety Law Awareness week, which runs from February 21-27, the agencies provide the following reminders:

• The “4 Foot Bicycle Law” requires drivers to pass a bicycle at a distance of “not less than four feet” at a careful and prudent speed. The law also permits drivers to cross the center line during this process if safely able to do so.   No turn by a driver should interfere with a bicycle proceeding straight.
• “Obey Traffic Signals” focuses on driver safety due to hazardous conditions.  Drivers who drive around or through traffic control devices closing a road or highway could receive a $250 fine and two points on their driving record.
• “Teen Seat Belt Law” requires that the driver and all passengers under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt anywhere in the vehicle. Also, drivers under 18 may not operate a vehicle where the number of passengers exceeds the number of available seat belts.
• “Increased fines in work zones” urges motorists to be aware when passing through an active work zone. Anyone violating the posted speed limit by more than five miles per hour will face doubled fines. The fine is determined based on the amount the driver is traveling over the speed limit. A recent amendment of the law also states that any driver who causes serious bodily injury
within a work zone could face up to $5,000 in fines and a six-month license suspension. A driver causing a death within a work zone would face up to a $10,000 fine and one-year license suspension.

"It is important that every driver on Pennsylvania’s roadways is familiar with the laws as they relate to operating a vehicle,” Colonel Blocker said.  “This  familiarity can go a long way towards keeping yourself and others safe while behind the wheel.”
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