Four New Traffic Laws Introduced in Pennsylvania
In an effort to cut down on the number of car accidents occurring across the state, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a series of laws, with which drivers must comply. To learn more about these laws and how they may impact your personal injury claim, please contact an experienced car accident attorney who can advise you.
Late last year, Pennsylvania changed its car seat laws to require rear-facing car seats for child passengers until they:
- Turn two years old; or
- Exceed the height or weight limits provided by the manufacturer.
Although this is the most recent change to the Commonwealth’s vehicle laws, it is not the only requirement for passengers under the age of 18 years old. In fact, Pennsylvania law also requires all passengers under the age of 18 to wear a seat belt at all times while in a vehicle. Additionally, children between the ages of four and eight must be restrained in a booster seat that is both age and size appropriate.
Another recently passed law is aimed at reducing the rate of pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania by requiring drivers who are entering or exiting a private road or driveway to yield the right of way to any approaching pedestrians. Drivers who fail to comply with the law are subject to a fine and will also receive three points on their driving record. The new law also prohibits drivers from attempting to pass cars that have stopped in order to let pedestrians use a crosswalk.
In January, the penalties for texting while driving were also enhanced in cases where someone was killed by a driver who was texting at the time of the collision. Under the terms of the new law, Judges have the option of extending the prison sentence of those convicted of causing severe injury or death to another as a result of texting by up to five years. Referred to as “Daniel’s Law” in honor of a motorcyclist who lost his life last year after being hit by a driver who was texting, the law applies to all drivers who send, write, or read texts while their vehicle is in motion.
Repeat DUI Offenders
A new Pennsylvania law that goes into effect in August also requires those who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated and had a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.10 percent or higher to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles for at least one year. These devices are similar to breathalyzers and prevent an engine from starting if any alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. Residents who are required to use IIDs must also pay for the installation, which can cost upwards of $1,000.
Contact a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney Today
The newly enacted vehicle laws could play a significant role in demonstrating a driver’s negligence or recklessness for those who are injured in car crashes, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident and believe that the driver violated one of these laws, please contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin by calling 215-515-6892 to speak with an experienced car accident attorney who can evaluate your case.