Pennsylvania Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: No person shall drive vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. PA Title 75, § 3361

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined $35, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined $200, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended for six months.

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH on certain interstate highways and freeways
  • 55 MPH on other highways
  • 35 MPH in urban districts
  • 15 MPH in a school zone

Pennsylvania Speeding Laws

Pennsylvania has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Pennsylvania you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in Pennsylvania you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

When an offender's point accumulation is reduced below 6 and they again accumulate 6 points for the second time, they are subject to a suspension of less than 15 days. When an offender's point accumulation is reduced below 6 and they again accumulate 6 points for the third time, they are subject to a suspension of less than 30 days.

When an offender has accumulated 11 points or more, they are subject to license suspension as follows: If this is a 1st suspension, 5 days suspension for each point; if this is a 2nd suspension, 10 days suspension for each point; if this is a 3rd suspension, 15 days suspension for each point; and, if this is a subsequent suspension, a 1 year suspension.

The following points have been assigned to speeding and speed related violations: Basic speed rule violation-2 points; careless driving-3 points; exceeding the maximum or posted maximum speed limit by 6 to 10 MPH-2 points; exceeding the maximum or posted maximum speed limit by 11 to 15 MPH-3 points; exceeding the maximum or posted maximum speed limit by 16 to 25 MPH-4 points; exceeding the maximum or posted maximum speed limit by 26 to 30 MPH-5 points; and, exceeding the maximum or posted maximum speed limit by 31 MPH-5 points. Note: The point schedule does not include points for driving less than the normal speed of traffic and not driving in the right lane.

Drivers Under 18 Years Old. A driver less than 18 years old is subject to the following additional license suspensions if they either (1) drive more than 26 MPH over the posted speed limit or (2) accumulate 6 or more points before reaching 18 years old. A 1st suspension is for 90 days and any subsequent suspension is for 120 days. Suspensions shall be imposed consecutively to each other and to any other suspension.

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