Pennsylvania winters are cold and snowy, which can pose a serious hazard to drivers. The state has addressed some of the dangers by adding new traffic laws to keep drivers safe on the road. However, if you are new to the state, it is important to get up to date on these requirements, or you could find yourself with a traffic ticket as a welcome to the state. This article will provide information you need to drive safely and legally in Pennsylvania.
Leaving ice and snow on cars is a hazard to everyone on the road. That is why the state of Pennsylvania now requires drivers to remove snow from their cars before driving or face a severe fine. Drivers who do not take the time to brush the snow from their cars and scrape the ice from their windshields could face a stiff penalty. Fines for this violation range from $200 to $1000.
Pennsylvania also requires drivers to turn on their headlights any time their windshield wipers are in use due to weather conditions. This might include rain or snow, when it might be difficult for other drivers to see your vehicle because of limited visibility. If a law enforcement official catches you with your headlights off in such circumstances, it could result in a $100 fine.
In addition to cold weather driving laws, Pennsylvania also has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country. In this state, a per se law governs their regulations about driving under the influence. Per se means that if you are caught with a certain amount of alcohol in your system, you will be punished as though you had the maximum amount in your body. If your blood alcohol level exceeds a certain amount, you will be punished more severely under Pennsylvania law as well.
If you are pulled over for a suspected drunk driving offense, you do have the right under Pennsylvania law to refuse to take a breath test. However, refusing a test will result in the suspension of your license for a full year, whether you have had anything to drink or not. For this reason, most Pennsylvanians are willing to submit to a breath test when they are pulled over for this sort of violation.
While many traffic laws are consistent from state to state, others might be unique to a specific location. For this reason, it is important to educate yourself about the traffic laws in a specific state like Pennsylvania to ensure you drive safely and legally no matter where you are.