To encourage safer driving in the state, Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards and State Police
Commissioner Tyree Blocker last week urged drivers to review and obey driver safety laws that may not be well-known among the public.
“Highway Safety Law Awareness week is an opportunity to raise public
awareness on various ways to increase public safety,” Richards said. “This year, we’re raising awareness through education, social media and outreach with our safety partners, like the Pennsylvania State Police, in hope that it creates behavioral change.”
Ahead of the state’s Highway Safety Law Awareness week, the agencies advised drivers of the following updates and safety reminders:
• Pennsylvania’s “Blind Pedestrians” law mandates that the driver of a vehicle yield the right of way to any totally or partially blind pedestrian
carrying a visible white cane or accompanied by a guide dog. The driver of the vehicle shall take any precaution necessary, including bringing the vehicle to a stop, to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian. This is a summary offense and is punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $150.
• “Prohibiting Use of Hearing Impairment Devices” law prohibits any driver from wearing headphones while behind the wheel. This section does not prohibit the use of a headset in conjunction with a cell phone which provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other. Wearing headphones while behind the wheel limits the driver’s ability to hear sirens belonging to emergency responders.
• Title 75, Section 3112 under “Traffic Control Signals,” dictates laws surrounding traffic lights. As part of a 2016 amendment, the law includes instruction on what can be done if a driver believes the traffic light is not functioning properly. This includes when the light’s “sensor” does not detect the vehicle. In this case, drivers are instructed to stop in the same manner as a stop sign and can proceed when it is safe to do so.
• The “Unattended Motor Vehicle” law limits where a vehicle can be left running and unattended. The law states that a person cannot leave a vehicle unattended while the engine is running or while the key is in the ignition. The law, however, does not apply to private property such as private driveways.
“Traffic laws are enforced with the goal of keeping the public safe on the
road,” said Col. Blocker. “Law Safety Awareness Week offers an excellent
opportunity to educate drivers about some lesser-known regulations. It also serves as a reminder that the most important safety steps we can take are to wear a seatbelt–every trip, every time–and to never drive impaired.”
Join the conversation on social media using #PATrafficLaw on Twitter and
For more information on highway safety, visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety.