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9/8/2005
Pennsylvania Work Zone Headlight Law Ignored
Police give Pennsylvania motorists a break by not enforcing special headlight law

Work zone headlight sign
In 2003, Pennsylvania added a number of severe restrictions on motorists driving through work zones. One of the more unique of these was a requirement that drivers look for a special sign that tells them when they need to turn on their headlights to avoid a $25 ticket. Since the law took effect, however, police have fined less than fifty people for the offense.

Police admit they aren't paying much attention to this law because the other penalty provisions are draconian. Even when no work is being done, "work zone" speed limits can be lowered by as much as 15 MPH without any engineering justification for the change. Tickets issued in these zones carry a doubled monetary penalty along with 2-5 demerit points against the driver's license.

If workers happen to be present, drivers can be cited for 46 MPH in a 45 MPH zone because the requirement that police only issue a ticket if their electronic equipment reads 6 MPH above the limit is dropped. This requirement had provided a margin of error for equipment that court testimony has shown to have severe accuracy problems. Anyone caught driving 11 MPH over the limit will receive an automatic 15-day license suspension, meaning that not seeing a lowered speed limit sign could cost a driver his license for two weeks.

Source: Is the headlight law working? (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/8/2005)



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