Pennsylvania provides a list of regulations in its Vehicle Code that prohibits licensed state motorists from committing moving and non-moving violations while operating a vehicle. In the event that a motorist is discovered by law enforcement to be in violation of any of the crimes listed in this code, they will most likely be cited with a traffic ticket (especially if an officer has to meet a quota).
One violation that drivers are commonly ticketed for is the performance of an illegal U-turn - 75 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3332. Although many people who may receive a ticket for this traffic offense may it as merely an inconvenience, some motorists have suffered stiff penalties due to the issuing of this citation. Driver's safety courses, a possible suspension or revocation of license, sky-high insurance premiums and even jail time could be imposed upon a driver who is given one too many tickets or is cited with a serious traffic offense.
If you have recently been ticketed for making an improper U-turn, don't hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable traffic attorney. A legal professional will be able to guide you through the process of handling a ticket while avoiding dire legal repercussions.
Illegal U-Turns in Pennsylvania
A U-turn is a sharp left turn that motorists perform to turn around and drive in the opposite direction on a street. Since this action could be considered dangerous in a variety of circumstances, the state mandates the conditions in which a person can and cannot U-turn. According to Pennsylvania law, motorists are not allowed to make a U-turn on a street that has either has a sign that indicates “no U-turns” or in one the following circumstances:
- The U-turn was made in a place where your vehicle could not be seen by other drivers within 500 feet (on a hill or low plain)
- The U-turn was made in a fashion that disturbs or interferes with traffic
- The U-turn was made on a turnpike
If an officer has witnessed you committing any of these actions, you may be issued a citation for an illegal U-turn.
Pennsylvania's Point System
Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation commonly referred to as PennDOT, maintains and updates the driving record of licensed motorists. When a driver has been found guilty of committing a traffic offense, a series of “points” will be added to his or her record. Once a driver reaches a total of six points, administrative corrective action will be taken.
It is not difficult to reach the point where a penalty will be imposed. The three points that are acquired from making an illegal U-turn paired with another common traffic violation, such as failing to stop at a stop sign easily makeup six points.
A ticket for an improper U-turn will typically result in a fine ranging from $25 to $100. But if this ticket brings a driver's record to the six-point mark, penalties such as taking a safe driving course, or a license suspension for up to 30 days may be imposed.