Pennsylvania

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban no
Young drivers all cellphone ban no
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 70
Urban interstates (mph) 70
Other limited access roads (mph) 70
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 16
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 65 hours, 10 of which must be at night and 5 of which must be in inclement weather
Have a minimum age of 16, 6 months
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 11 p.m.-5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
first 6 months— no more than 1 passenger younger than 18; thereafter, no more than 3 passengers
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 17
Passenger restrictions 17
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 4 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger
Adult safety belt permissible not permissible
Maximum fine 1st offense $75
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 11/23/87
Standard enforcement? no (yes for children <18 years)
Who is covered? In what seats? 8 through 17 years in all seats; 18+ years in front seat
Maximum fine 1st offense $10
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 20 and younger1
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 11 and younger
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage people 18 and older if the vehicle is traveling less than 35 mph; inapplicable to occupants 17 and younger if the cargo area is enclosed; parades, hunting, and farm operations
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? no state law
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? no state law
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and municipalities with a population exceeding 20,000 with a police department accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties; requires local ordinance
Violations red light
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? owner
What image is taken? photographs
Traditional enforcement penalty $25 fine/3 points
Auto enforcement penalties/record $100 maximum; not on operating record

1Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first two years of licensure unless the operator has completed the safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.