Pennsylvania

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of Pennsylvania. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .10 and .16 See note  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.10 or higher) and repeat convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

    *NOTE: Pennsylvania uses programs called Occupational Limited License (OLL) and Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL).

  • Autonomous Vehicles

    Requires a human operator in the driver’s position for every vehicle, including AV testing.

  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 12.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    Under 2 yrs (or until outgrows the top height or weight recommendations) in rear-facing child restraint

    2-3 yrs in forward-facing child restraint

    4-7 yrs booster seat 

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8-17 yrs

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?

    No

    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers

    No

    Novice Drivers

    No

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • Zero tolerance for some drugs

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Legal for medical use
    • Impaired Driving: Zero Tolerance for THC and metabolites
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    4 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    65 and over: choice of 2- or 4-year renewal

  • Motorcyclists

    Helmets required for all riders under 21 or who have been licensed for less than 2 years, except those who complete a PennDOT- or Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved safety course. Universal helmet law repealed 2003.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law

    Secondary; Primary for occupants ages 8-17

    Who Is Covered?

    8 and over

    In What Seat?

    8-17 yrs: All (primary enforcement)

  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law

    Where Permitted

    Active work zones when workers are present; in Philadelphia


    Red Light Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law and city ordinance

    Where Permitted

    Specified jurisdictions

  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Rural Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    Other Limited Access Roads

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    *NOTE: Limit of 70 MPH on specific segments based on an engineering and traffic investigation

  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    17 years with driver's ed. and 12 months free of crash or conviction

    18 without driver's ed.

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)

    16 6 65 (10) + 5 in inclement weather

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 / 6 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.

    First 6 months: no more than 1 under 18

    Thereafter: no more than 3 under 18