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Following is an overview of the laws, limits, and fines as they relate to speeding traffic violations in the state of Pennsylvania.
Speed limits in Pennsylvania
70 mph: some sections of rural freeways and the Pennsylvania Turnpike
65 mph: other freeways and interstates
50-65 mph: urban freeways
55 mph: most other highways
45-55 mph: urban four-lane roads
40-45 mph: urban two-lane roads
35-45 mph: business areas
30-35 mph: major roads in residential districts
20-25mph: most other residential roads
15 mph: school zones during arrival and departure times
Pennsylvania code on reasonable and prudent speed
Maximum speed law:
According to section 3361 of Pennsylvania vehicle code, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
Minimum speed law:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, and, if so driving on a 2-lane road, must pull off the road onto the berm or shoulder to let other traffic pass.”
“A person driving at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive in the right-hand lane available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”
The minimum speed on freeways is typically 15 mph below the posted speed limit.
Due to variations in speedometer calibration, tire size, and margins of error in speed-detecting technology, it’s uncommon for an officer to pull a driver over for going less than five miles above the speed limit. However, technically any amount over can be considered a speed violation so best practices are to stay within the limit.
While it may be difficult to fight a speeding ticket in Pennsylvania due to the absolute speed limit law, a driver may choose to go to court and claim their innocence based upon one of the following:
The driver may oppose the determination of speed. In order to claim this defense a driver must know how his or her speed was determined and then learn how to disprove its accuracy.
A driver may claim that an emergency situation caused the driver to break the speed limit in order to prevent injury or damage to themselves or others.
The driver may claim a case of mistaken identity. If a police officer clocks a driver speeding and subsequently has to find them again in traffic, it’s possible that they could have made a mistake and pulled the wrong car over.
Penalty for exceeding the speed limit in Pennsylvania
First-time violators may:
- Be fined up to $102.50 (plus surcharges of up to $50 and possible court costs)
- Have their license suspended for up to one year
Penalty for reckless driving in Pennsylvania
Driving 30 mph over the speed limit is automatically considered reckless driving.
First-time violators may:
Be fined up to $200 (plus a surcharge of $30)
Have their license suspended for up to six months
The state of Pennsylvania does not offer a driver improvement program for the purpose of reducing a driver’s fine or points.
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