Pennsylvania Traffic Laws Rated "Middle of the Pack"

A report issued by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety indicates that Pennsylvania has only enacted 8 out of 15 recommended traffic safety laws. After being given a "dangerously behind" rating in 2010, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a ban on texting while driving, an improved booster seat law, and limitations on the number and type of passengers that teens can transport in their vehicles. Perceived flaws in Pennsylvania's regulatory scheme include the following: classifying seat belt violations as secondary violations (cannot conduct traffic stop without observing another traffic violation), failing to require all DUI offenders to install ignition interlock equipment in vehicles, failing to require motorcyclists to wear helmets, and failing to enact stricter curfew and cell phone usage restrictions on teen drivers.

We support the passage of a motorcycle helmet law to help prevent senseless, catastrophic injury to riders. We do not support proposals to amend seat belt violations to primary offenses, as they can serve as the basis for pre textual traffic stops. Before passing further restrictions, our legislators should review accident statistics from other states to see if the proposed reforms had a tangible impact on the number of vehicular accidents and fatalities.