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Pennsylvania Auto Driving Laws

Pennsylvania's Point System

Under PA driving law, the purpose of the point system is to help to improve driving habits and to ensure safe driving. Points are added to a driving record when a driver is found guilty of certain violations of Pennsylvania traffic laws. PENNDOT begins to take corrective action when a driving record reaches 6 or more points.

Under PA driving law, when a driving record reaches 6 or more points for the first time, the driver will receive a written notice to take a written special point examination.

Under PA traffic laws, when the driving record is reduced below 6 points and reaches 6 or more points for a second time, the driver will have to attend a departmental hearing.

In accordance with Pennsylvania traffic laws, further accumulations of 6 or more points will result in additional departmental hearings and sanctions to your driving privilege.

In addition to these requirements, Pennsylvania driving law requires the driving privilege of a person under the age of 18 to be suspended if that person accumulates six (6) or more points or is convicted of driving 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.

Under Pennsylvania driving law, the first suspension will be for a period of 90 days. Any additional occurrences will result in a suspension of 120 days.

The following indicates the violations of Pennsylvania driving law and the number of points given for violation of those PA traffic laws:

PA Driving Law Violation - Points

  • Violation of restriction on driver's license; wearing glasses, etc - 2
  • Violation concerning license - 3
  • Failure to obey policeman or authorized person - 2
  • Failure to stop for a red light - 3
  • Failure to stop for a flashing red light - 3
  • Failure to yield half of roadway to oncoming vehicle - 3
  • Improper passing, overtaking vehicle on left - 3
  • Improper passing on the right - 3
  • Improper passing on the left, clear distance ahead - 3
  • Improper passing on a hill - 4
  • Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection - 3
  • Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel - 3
  • Improper passing in a no-passing zone - 3
  • Following too closely - 3
  • Failure to yield to driver on the right at intersection - 3
  • Failure to yield to oncoming driver when making left turn - 3
  • Failure to stop at stop sign - 3
  • Failure to yield at yield sign - 3
  • Failure to yield when entering or crossing roadway between intersections - 3
  • Improper turning around-illegal U-turns - 3
  • Failure to obey signal indicating approach of train - 2
  • Failure to comply with crossing gate or barrier - (30-day suspension) and - 4
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing - 4
  • Failure to stop when entering from alley, driveway or building - 3
  • Failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights and stop arm extended - (60-day suspension) and - 5
  • Driving too fast for conditions - (if violation occurs in an active work zone and in conjunction with an accident, 15-day suspension) and - 2

Exceeding Maximum Speed - Miles over Speed Limit:

  • 6 to 10 - 2
  • 11 to 15 - (if violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension) and - 3
  • 16 to 25 - (if violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension) and - 4
  • 26 to 30 - (if violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension) and - 5
  • 31 and over - Departmental Hearing and Sanctions provided under Section 1538(d) and - 5 (if violation occurs in an active work zone, also 15-day suspension)

Other Violations

  • Exceeding special speed limit in school zone - 3
  • Exceeding special speed limit for trucks on downgrades - 3
  • Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk - 2
  • Failure to yield to pedestrian on sidewalk when entering from a driveway or alley - 3
  • Failure to yield to blind pedestrians - 3
  • Improper backing - 3
  • Careless driving - 3
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage only - 4

Point Removal for Safe Driving

Under Pennsylvania driving law, three points are removed from a driving record for every 12 consecutive months in which a person is not under suspension or revocation or has not committed any violation of Pennsylvania traffic laws which results in the assignment of points or the suspension or revocation of the driving privilege.

Once a driving record is reduced to zero and remains at zero points for 12 consecutive months, any further accumulation of points is treated as the first accumulation of points.

Suspensions and Revocations

In accordance with Pennsylvania driving law, if you are convicted of any one of the following Pa traffic law violations, your driving privilege will be suspended or revoked. Please note this is only a partial listing.

  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Any felony involving a vehicle
  • Homicide by vehicle
  • Failure to stop when you are driving a vehicle involved in a crash (hit and run offense)
  • Reckless driving
  • Racing on highways
  • Driving without lights to avoid identification
  • Fleeing from a police officer
  • Driving when your license is already suspended or revoked
  • A second or any additional offense of driving without a valid license within a 5-year period
  • Failure to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended (60-day suspension)
  • Failure to comply with a railroad crossing gate or barrier (30-day suspension).

In accordance with Pennsylvania driving law, if a driving privilege is to be suspended or revoked, a written notice listing the date when the suspension/revocation will begin will be mailed to the driver.

Under PA driving law, the driver's license must be returned to the Bureau of Driver Licensing by the effective date of suspension listed on the notice, or the State Police and local police will be notified to pick up the license.

Under Pennsylvania driving law, NO credit toward serving the suspension or revocation shall be earned until the driver's license is surrendered to PENNDOT.

In the case of an unlicensed driver, an Acknowledgement of Suspension/Revocation (Form DL-16LC) or an affidavit acknowledging the sanction must be surrendered to PENNDOT in lieu of a driver's license.

Under PA traffic laws, drivers may appeal the suspension/revocation in the Court of Common Pleas (Civil Division) of their county of residence. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the mailing date of the notice.

In addition to serving the suspension or revocation, proof of payment for any fines and costs owed, proof of insurance (financial responsibility), and a restoration fee must be paid before driving privileges will be restored.

In accordance with Pennsylvania driving law, after the driving privilege is restored, the driving record will show five points, regardless of the number of points that appeared on the record before the license was suspended, except in the cases of:

  • Underage drinking
  • A 15-day suspension resulting from a hearing for the second accumulation of six points
  • Suspension for failing to respond to a citation

For More Information

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

(Source: StateDrivingLaw.com)


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