Several Reminders From Highway Safety Law Awareness Week

February 18, 2019
Jonathan J. Russell

Did you know that this week (February 18- 25) is “Highway Safety Law Awareness Week?” By raising awareness regarding certain traffic laws, with which you may not be too familiar, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police hope to make everyone safer on our roadways. This year’s focus is on a variety of lesser know traffic laws, as well as some changes to our existing laws. These include Pennsylvania’s Blind Pedestrian Law; the Use of Headphones While Driving; the Ride-on-Red law; the Unattended Motor Vehicle law (those with remote car starters should especially read this); the Clear Snow and Ice from your Vehicle Law (see our previous article here); the Steer Clear Law; the Turn-Around, Don’t Drown Law; as well as penalty changes to our existing DUI laws.

In addition to the “Clear the Snow from Your Vehicle Law,” we previously wrote about, we think that it is important to be reminded, about two additional laws that are the focus of this year’s Awareness Week. The first law we would like to look at in more detail is the “Unattended Motor Vehicle Law” and the second is the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown Law.”

On a cold winter morning, who doesn’t want to wait in the house while your car is getting warmed up before heading out on the road? But do you know what the laws are in Pennsylvania regarding leaving a vehicle running that is unattended? 75 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 3701, prohibits anyone who is “in charge” of a motor vehicle from not “stopping the engine” when the vehicle is “unattended.” However, this law only applies to public property and not private driveways. So while it would be fine for you to warm up your car at home, if parked in your driveway, that would not be the case if you were parked on a public street or public property. Additionally, you should be aware that children under six are never allowed to remain unattended in a vehicle that is out of the driver’s sight, including parking lots.

Did you know that it takes just two feet of water to float a car. With the heavy rains we’ve been having and the seasonal roadway flooding that tends to occur each Spring, it is good to be reminded about the Turn Around, Don’t Drown Law. In September of 2012, a new law went into effect in Pennsylvania, specifically prohibiting a driver of any vehicle from driving, “past, around or through a sign or traffic control device closing a road or highway due to an existing or potentially hazardous condition.” The penalty for doing so, includes two points on your license, a fine between $250 and $500, as well as the costs incurred by emergency responders, who had to be called into action in order to rescue you.

So when you see that sign, “ROAD CLOSED”, think twice before simply driving around it and proceeding ahead.

At Drake, Hileman & Davis, our personal injury attorneys have been concerned for the safety of those in our community for more than 30 years. We have been helping the injured find answers, whenever accidents happen. We have a proven track record of results and satisfied clients. We’re ready to answer your questions and provide you with the legal help you need. Contact us on-line or call us at 1-888-777-7098 to schedule your free consultation in the convenience of your home or at one of our five offices located throughout the region.