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.
Philadelphia Traffic Attorney
Tickets can lead to dire consequences if not handled appropriately. Contact skilled traffic attorney Joseph D. Lento today for guidance.