The Keystone State is not known for aggressive or erratic drivers, thanks, in part, to the excellent traffic regulations and effective enforcement of these rules. However, as one of the oldest states, PA has its fair share of interesting automobile legislation. Read on to learn three Pennsylvania traffic laws you likely didn’t know.
I: You Must Slow Down When Passing a Horse-Drawn Buggy
Pennsylvania is famous for its many wonderful cities, communities, and cultures. The Amish community, in particular, is a notable society that calls various stretches of the Keystone State home. The Amish community is most famously known for its abstinence from all forms of electricity, including automobiles. Instead, they travel primarily on horseback or in horse-drawn buggies. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, all motorized vehicles approaching horseback riders or buggy drivers must slow down to 5–10 miles per hour, limit their flashing lights, and refrain from producing excessive noise. Failure to respect the horses’ space can result in fines and additional legal troubles. This is one of the oldest traffic laws still in effect in Pennsylvania, but it’s certainly still important due to the large presence of horse-drawn buggies.
II: It’s Illegal To Drive a Doorless Automobile on Public Roads
This specific law only truly impacts PA drivers who have Ford Broncos, Jeep Wranglers, or similar off-road capable mid-size SUVs. Surprisingly, Pennsylvania is the only state in the union with blanket restrictions regarding doorless driving. However, this law doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy open-air experiences in your Jeep. In fact, PA does consider half-door configurations street legal, as well as doorless arrangements for private roads or off-roading applications. As long as you don’t take the doors off of your Wrangler before traveling on public streets, you’re not breaking any traffic laws. Plus, Pennsylvania has no regulations regarding droptop convertible Wranglers. Just remember, if you’re going to drive your Jeep with the doors off, you will need to exercise caution.
III: You Can’t Purchase a New Car on a Sunday
In Pennsylvania, laws against trading on Sunday date back to 1779 with the passing of the Blue Laws.These regulations made Sunday an official day of rest, effectively outlawing any form of business on these days. Similar laws in other states helped create our modern work weekend and are the reason why so many public and private companies close on Sundays. Even today, dealerships and notaries remain closed on Sundays, making official title changes and automotive purchases virtually impossible. However, you can legally discuss the sale or purchase of a vehicle or completely skirt around this outdated law by shopping on the Internet.
These three Pennsylvania traffic laws you didn’t know are perfect examples of the interesting facts you can discover when you learn more about the history of this great state. Remember to freshen up on your “rules of the road” to avoid any potential traffic issues wherever you go.