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7/7/2005
Pennsylvania House Wants to Ban Nitrous Oxide
Using nitrous oxide on the streets of Pennsylvania could cost $500 under one lawmaker's proposal.

Rep. Josh Shapiro
Motorists looking for a little extra speed from nitrous oxide will face hefty fines if Pennsylvania state representatives have their way. On June 30, the Keystone State's lower body voted 196-0 to adopt a measure sponsored by Rep. Josh Shapiro (D-Montgomery County) that would make it illegal to have a N2O bottle inside a vehicle unless it's disconnected while being driven to or from a track. Violating the provision is a $25 offense. Anyone caught with a bottle while speeding faces an extra fine of $250, or a double penalty of $500 for exceeding the limit by 31 MPH.

Shapiro cited a December 4 fatal accident where a teenager was killed in a car equipped with nitrous as his inspiration for the legislation. There is no evidence that nitrous was a factor in the incident, but he still wanted to do something about it. "Right after the accident, Abington police told me about it and told me that the nitrous oxide was legal," Shapiro said in an interview with The Intelligencer. "I was astounded."

Nitrous oxide systems are used to provide a quick power boost of between 30 and 200 horsepower, depending on the application. Because nitrous systems are not designed for continuous speed, the driver must specifically engage the system with a switch. A typical ten pound bottle "100 shot" application will be emptied after about two minutes of full-throttle usage.

The bill is now being considered by the state Senate.

Article Excerpt:
Relevant excerpt from House Bill No. 727, 2005 Session, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

"NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM." A DEVICE INSTALLED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT ALLOWS NITROUS OXIDE TO COMBINE WITH GASOLINE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INCREASING ENGINE POWER.
* * *
SECTION 2. TITLE 75 IS AMENDED BY ADDING SECTIONS TO READ:
ยง 3720. NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM.
(A) GENERAL RULE.--EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (B), THE FOLLOWING SHALL APPLY:
(1) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS EQUIPPED WITH A NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM ON A HIGHWAY OR TRAFFICWAY COMMITS A SUMMARY OFFENSE AND SHALL, UPON CONVICTION, BE SENTENCED TO PAY A FINE OF $25.
(2) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO OPERATES, IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT BY MORE THAN FIVE MILES PER HOUR BUT LESS THAN 31 MILES PER HOUR, A MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS EQUIPPED WITH A NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM ON A HIGHWAY OR TRAFFICWAY COMMITS A SUMMARY OFFENSE AND SHALL, UPON CONVICTION, BE SENTENCED TO PAY A FINE OF $250.
(3) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO OPERATES, IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT BY AT LEAST 31 MILES PER HOUR, A MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS EQUIPPED WITH A NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM ON A HIGHWAY OR TRAFFICWAY COMMITS A SUMMARY OFFENSE AND SHALL, UPON CONVICTION, BE SENTENCED TO PAY A FINE OF $500.
(B) EXCEPTIONS.--A PERSON MAY OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE EQUIPPED WITH A NITROUS OXIDE SYSTEM ON A HIGHWAY OR TRAFFICWAY IF:
(1) ALL CANISTERS OF NITROUS OXIDE HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE VEHICLE.
(2) THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS EN ROUTE TO OR FROM A TRACK WHERE THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS USED FOR RACING AND THE NITROUS
OXIDE SYSTEM IS MADE INOPERATIVE BY DISCONNECTING THE LINE FEEDING NITROUS OXIDE TO THE ENGINE.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
Source: Legislator wants to keep cars off the nitro bottle (The Intelligencer (PA), 7/7/2005)



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