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WPXI reports that 60 Pittsburgh-area drivers received traffic citations for improper use of the carpool/high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on the Parkway North.  Under the law, the HOV lane may only be used by motorcycle operators and cars that are carrying at least two human passengers inbound from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and outbound from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  There are no exceptions for fuel-efficient vehicles.

 

For more information, go to:

“Police crackdown on HOV lane offenders, Morning rush impacted”-WPXI

“HOV Lanes”-PENNDOT

 

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The Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed a law prohibiting drivers from sending text messages or otherwise composing written messages (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) while driving.  The prohibition does not include devices used “exclusively” for the purpose of navigation or the act of dialing a phone number while driving.   Drivers caught texting while driving will face a $50 fine.

While earlier drafts of the law made the violation a secondary offense, the law as passed makes texting while driving a primary offense.  In other words, police officers can pull drivers over “just” for texting while driving.  No other motor vehicle code violation is required to justify the stop.  The law now goes to Governor Tom Corbett for final approval.  If approved, the law will take effect in 120 days.

 

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11306/1186784-454.stm

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0314&pn=1724

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed legislation amending the state’s seatbelt laws. Under the current laws, the failure to properly restrain a child between the ages of four and eight is a secondary offense. Therefore, a person may only be convicted if s/he has been convicted of another traffic violation or crime. Under the proposed law, the failure to properly restrain a child between the ages of four and eight will be a primary offense and therefore punishable in and of itself. The proposed law also now requires children between the ages of eight and eighteen years of age to be restrained when traveling in any vehicle. Under the current law, children between the ages of eight and eighteen are only required to wear a seatbelt when riding in the front seat of a vehicle.

For more information, go to:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/FN/2009/0/HB0067P0067.pdf

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In addition to passing restrictions on junior drivers, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation that amends Sections 4527 and 4581(a) and (b) of the Vehicle Code. The proposed legislation prohibits vehicles from having any DVD player, television, or any image display device in a position that the driver can view (with the exception of navigation systems, “related traffic, road and weather information,” and devices that enhance the driver’s view). According to the proposed law, an image display device may not me installed at any location “forward of the back of the driver’s seat.”

For more information, go to:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0067&pn=0067

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed legislation prohibiting teenagers from using cellular phones or sending text messages while operating an automobile. The law also includes a provision restricting the number of passengers the teenager may have who are under the age of 18. Under the law, any junior driver would only be permitted to have one passenger who is under the age of 18. The bill will now go to the Pennsylvania Senate for approval.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09118/966003-454.stm

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0067&pn=0067

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In a close vote, the Pennsylvania State House has rejected a proposed ban on handheld cell phones for automobile drivers. The measure was rejected by a 100-95 vote.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09112/964745-100.stm?cmpid=news.xml

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After consulting with local prosecutors, Colorado State police withdrew the jaywalking charge against Jim Moffett. Moffett was seriously injured after being hit by a truck while attempting to help two women cross the street.

For more information, go to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090228/ap_on_re_us/good_samaritan_ticketed

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Bus driver Jim Moffett was given a ticket for jaywalking after saving the lives of two elderly women. After dropping the two women off during a snowstorm, Moffett attempted to help the women safely cross the street. A truck struck Moffett after he pushed the women out of its path. The truck driver was cited for careless driving while Moffett was cited for jaywalking. An officer explained that Moffett contributed to the accident by jaywalking.

For more information, go to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090226/ap_on_fe_st/odd_good_samaritan_ticketed

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Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Shapiro has introduced a bill that would prohibit drivers operating handheld cellular phones or sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle.

For more information, go to;

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09050/950322-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

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On Wednesday, February 18, 2009, Pittsburgh City Police, University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University police issued 33 citations and 14 warnings during a targeted pedestrian safety enforcement. Tickets were issued to drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians while pedestrians received tickets for failure to cross in a designated area (jaywalking). The objective of the targeted enforcement was to increase awareness about pedestrian safety. With a large college-student population as well as the notorious Fifth Avenue bus-lane, Oakland is an ideal location to increase awareness about pedestrian safety.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09050/950207-147.stm

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