What are the Most Common Traffic Violations in Pennsylvania?

Posted on June 1st, 2023

Thankfully, despite being one of, if not the most common type of crime committed, traffic violations have declined in Pennsylvania in the last few years. In 2020, they declined by a full 36%, with the number of offenses for the six most common violations declining over the last five years. But what are the most common traffic violations?

What are Traffic Violations?

Traffic violations are infraction-level crimes where you aren’t doing something criminal, but you’re still breaking the law. Unless a violation leads to a larger crime, like endangerment, manslaughter, or destruction of property, it will remain an infraction. DUIs are the only traffic violations that receive criminal charges. This doesn’t mean traffic crimes aren’t a big deal though.

Traffic violations pile up over time. While they don’t end in jail time, they can end with heavy fines and you losing your license. If you don’t pay those fines, then you can face jail time, but that wouldn’t be a traffic violation.

What are the Most Common Traffic Violations in Pennsylvania?

There are too many different traffic violations to count. Not to forget, different towns that are positioned right next to each other can have different traffic laws. While they must meet certain minimums, these laws can have extra ordinances on top of them. Despite this, there are a specific few laws that you face anywhere you go in Pennsylvania.

If you have been given a ticket for a traffic violation, it was likely one of these five. If you want to fight the ticket, you should contact the criminal defense attorney at Kalinoski Law Offices.

#1. Speeding

It should be no surprise that speeding is the most common traffic offense. Everyone is driving because they want to get somewhere, and they want to get there as soon as possible in most cases. This leads to people exceeding the speed limit beyond an appropriate degree.

In Pennsylvania, the cost of a speeding ticket varies from county to county, and if you’re in a work zone, residential zone, or on a highway. Most start with a base fine, and then the fine increases for every mile over the speed limit that’s more than five miles over the speed limit.

In most places, a fine for speeding 11 mph over the speed limit in a school zone starts at $500, with the potential to have your license suspended. Repeat offenses will see your license suspended as speeding adds points to your license.

#2. Driving Through a Stop Sign

There are two wrong ways to go through a stop sign. You can drive right through it without stopping or stalling in any way. You can also slow down, then continue after looking both ways, much like when there’s a yield sign. Both ways are illegal, but treating a stop sign like a yield sign is not as dangerous, so the consequences may not be as severe in some places. It may have a separate name, called a “rolling stop.”

Assuming you didn’t cause an accident, going through a stop sign can earn you a fine that’s anywhere from $25 to $100, along with points on your license.

#3. Overtaking a Vehicle

While it’s not illegal to be a bad driver, there are limits to how bad you can be. Overtaking a vehicle is pushing the limit because it causes a large chance of causing a significant accident.

To overtake a vehicle, you have to turn into the upcoming lane to pass another vehicle. This is common on one-lane roads. This is how many oncoming collisions are caused. There are situations where overtaking a vehicle is permitted, but it is still a serious traffic violation. The ticket for it significantly varies across Pennsylvania.

#4. Illegal Turn

There are many places, particularly cities, where you cannot make a left turn. There are also lights at particularly busy intersections where you cannot make a right turn while the light is on red. These are considered illegal turns. Another example would be to make a U-turn where it is strictly forbidden by a sign.

Illegal turns can result in a fine from $25 up to $100.

#5. Following Too Close

If you follow behind the car in front of you too closely, you can receive a fine. It is important to note how close you can follow depends on the level of traffic, the speed limit, and how long you were a certain distance away.

For example, if you are in traffic that’s moving less than 10 miles per hour, you can be far closer to the vehicle in front of you without technically ‘following too close.’ The best way to tell what’s breaking the law and what’s not is if you can safely brake the moment the car in front of you does. If you can, you’re fine, if you can’t, you’ll cause a car accident and be held responsible.

Whether you’re given a ticket before or after causing an accident, you can face points on your driving record, $25 in fines, and court costs over an imposition.

You Can Fight Traffic Tickets With the Help of Kalinoski Law Offices

Fines will financially hurt the average person, but with enough points on your license, you can lose the ability to drive entirely for a long period. This can completely get in the way of your life. If you can’t afford to lose your license, you should consult with the traffic violations attorney at Kalinoski Law Offices.

You need to be able to go to work, and travel. Traffic laws are still laws, but the degree to which people are charged does not have the same scrutiny as criminal court. Don’t let traffic court ruin your life. Contact us for help today.

Category: Criminal Charges

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Craig Kalinoski
Craig Kalinoski

Craig P. Kalinoski is a respected attorney serving clients in Scranton, Pennsylvania. With a focus on Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Civil Rights, he has established himself as a top-rated legal professional. Recognized as a Rising Star and admired by peers, Craig's commitment to excellence sets him apart in the legal field.


We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law and personal injury.

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