Traffic Rules & Regulations

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601.1 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this part, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

Acceleration lane – A speed change lane for the purpose of:

(i) Enabling a vehicle entering a roadway to increase its speed to a rate at which it can safely merge with through traffic.

(ii) Providing the necessary merging distance.

(iii) Giving the main roadway traffic the necessary time and distance to make appropriate adjustments.

Overweight/Over-dimensional vehicle – A vehicle which exceeds 100,000 pounds in weight, 13 feet six inches in height, 10 feet in width, 85 feet in overall length, or which has a load or part thereof extending five feet or more beyond the front bumper or 15 feet or more beyond the rear bumper. The front and rear overhang of stinger steered vehicles, as defined in 23 CFR 658.13 (d) (relating to length), may not be included in calculating the overall length of the stinger steered vehicle, as long as the front overhang does not exceed three feet and the rear overhang does not exceed four feet.

Commission – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Deceleration lane – The portion of the roadway adjoining the traveled way constructed for the purpose or enabling a vehicle that is exiting a roadway to slow to a safe speed after it has left the mainstream of traffic.

Hazardous material – An explosive, blasting agent, flammable liquid, combustible liquid, flammable solid, flammable and nonflammable compressed gas, corrosive material, poison, poison gas, irritant, oxidizer, organic peroxide, radioactive material, etiologic agent, or other regulated material defined in 49 CFR Parts 100-177 (relating to research and special programs administration, Department of Transportation) whether a material, a substance or a waste product.

Max-time formula – The method by which the Commission determines the maximum amount of time a patron should normally spend on the Turnpike System.

Recreational vehicle – A multipurpose passenger vehicle that provides living accommodations for persons or an apportionable vehicle designed or converted and used exclusively for personal pleasure or travel by an individual or the individual’s family.

Shoulder – The portion of the highway, contiguous to the roadway, for accommodation of stopped vehicles, for emergency use and for lateral support of the roadway.

Tandem – A truck tractor, semitrailer and trailer.

Traffic lane – A strip of roadway intended to accommodate the forward movement of a single line of vehicles.

Turnpike System – The limited access highway maintained and constructed by the Commission, extending eastward from the Ohio line to the New Jersey line and northward from a point near Norristown, Pennsylvania to a point near Scranton, Pennsylvania and other extensions thereto, which have been or may hereafter be designated as part of the Turnpike System by the Legislature.

Unsafe vehicle – A vehicle which does not comply with Chapter 175 (relating to vehicle equipment and inspection) or with an equipment requirement of this part, or a vehicle which poses a driving hazard to the vehicle’s occupants or to other motorists.


601.2 Authority

Except as specifically modified in this part, 75 Pa. C. S. (relating to the Vehicle Code), applies to the operation of a vehicle on the Turnpike System.

601.3 Officers

A driver of a motor vehicle and other persons using or traveling upon the Turnpike System shall obey the signs, signals and oral directions rendered by officers, employees, independent contractors or agents of the Commission, including the State Police, the toll collectors at fare booths and interchanges, maintenance personnel and other officers that are employed by the Commission.

601.4 Speed Limits

(a) A vehicle shall be limited to a maximum posted speed limit. The minimum speed for a vehicle on the Turnpike is 15 miles per hour below the posted speed limit, except as noted otherwise.

(b) The Commission, in cooperation with the State Police, has the authority to temporarily reduce speed limits on a part of the Turnpike System where hazardous conditions warrant the reduction in speed or where the reduction is necessary for construction or maintenance operations.

601.4 (a) (Reserved)

601.4 (b) (Reserved)

601.5 Hazardous Materials

(a) Hazardous materials may be transported, under all required federal permits, on the Turnpike System, if the shipments are in full compliance with 10 CFR 71 (relating to packaging and transportation of radioactive material), 49 CFR Subchapter C (relating to hazardous materials regulations), the Federal motor carrier safety regulations at 49 CFR 390-397, and other Federal or State laws or regulations relating to the transportation of hazardous materials.

(b) A transporter of hazardous materials shall carry all required federal permits while traveling on the Turnpike System and shall present the permits upon demand to any Commission employee or the Pennsylvania State Police.

(c) Explosives Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and Radioactive materials as defined in 49 CFR 173.50 and 173.403, respectively are prohibited from being transported on the Turnpike System in tandem trailer combinations.

(d) The total volume of material in a tandem combination may not exceed the total volume that could be carried in a single trailer.

(e) The following materials are prohibited, restricted or permitted in Commission tunnels as per the following chart. Restricted is defined as non-tanker loads, limited to transport in non-bulk packaging of 119 gallons per container or less, as per 49 CFR 171.8.

601.7 Parking

A person may not park or leave a vehicle standing on the Turnpike System for the purpose of demonstrating, striking or other similar purpose.

601.8 Crossing Median Strip

(a) The median strip is the area between the traffic lanes and is intended to separate traffic proceeding in opposite directions. Except as directed by traffic signs, PA Turnpike personnel or State Police, the following acts are prohibited:

(1) Crossing the median strip at any point.

(2) Driving on the median strip.

(3) Parking, standing, loading, unloading, or stopping on the median strip.

(b) This section does not apply to police, emergency, or other authorized vehicles.

601.9 U-Turns

The making of a U-turn on the Turnpike System is prohibited except by authorized vehicles. A driver of a motor vehicle may reverse direction of travel only by passing through an interchange and paying the fare. The Pennsylvania State Police may authorize a U-turn in an emergency and fare collection personnel may authorize a U-turn at an interchange.

601.10 Pedestrian Travel

Pedestrian travel or entry on the right-of-way of the Turnpike System is prohibited.

601.11 Hitchhiking

The solicitation for a ride, commonly known as “hitchhiking,” is prohibited, and stopping or allowing a vehicle to be standing while hitchhikers board is also prohibited.

601.12 Toll Tickets

(a) Each vehicle shall obtain a toll ticket upon entering the Turnpike System at an interchange.

(b) The toll ticket shall then be surrendered to a toll collector together with the appropriate fare upon exiting the Turnpike System.

(c) The patron shall stop and exhibit his toll ticket upon request by the State Police or Commission employee.

(d) In the event of a lost toll ticket, the patron shall pay the fare from the farthest point of entry on the PA Turnpike to the actual point of exit.

601.13 Evasion of Fare

(a) Evasion of fare or attempted evasion of fare is prohibited and constitutes a summary offense. Fines for evasion of fare or attempted evasion of fare are imposed by 75 Pa. C.S. § 6110(b) (relating to regulation of traffic on Pennsylvania Turnpike).

(b) Evasion of fare or attempted evasion of fare includes the following:

(1) Entering or exiting the Turnpike System except through an interchange, unless directed to do so by the State Police or a Commission employee.

(2) The presentation to a State Trooper or toll collector of a toll ticket which indicates that the patron has exceeded the travel time allotted based on the max-time formula, where the patron cannot produce satisfactory physical evidence, including the driver’s record of duty status, demonstrating that the age of the ticket was the result of actual excess time spent legitimately on the Turnpike System by the patron and was not the result of fare evasion or attempted fare evasion.

(3) Possession by the patron of more than one toll ticket.

(4) Possession by the patron of a toll ticket which was issued from an interchange located in the direction in which the patron is traveling.

(5) Possession or presentation by a patron of a toll ticket which has been intentionally altered or mutilated.

(6) The failure by the patron to pay the appropriate toll upon exiting the Turnpike System.

(7) Appropriation or attempted appropriation by a patron of more than one toll ticket at an interchange.

(8) The exchange of toll tickets by two or more patrons.

601.14 Overweight/Over-dimensional Vehicles

(a) Prior to entering the Turnpike System, overweight/over-dimensional vehicles shall contact the Commission’s Safety Department at 717-939-9551, extension 2970 or 2980 to obtain an overweight/over-dimensional permit.

(b) The requester shall be prepared to provide the following information.

(1) The size, weight and number of axles of the overweight/over-dimensional vehicle.

(2) The name, address and telephone number of the carrier.

(3) The planned entry and exit interchange.

(4) The planned date of movement.

(5) Other information which may be requested by the Safety Department.

(c) If approved, the Safety Department will provide the requester with a four-digit overweight/over-dimensional move number, which shall be provided to the toll collector at the time of entry.

(d) Vehicles over 11 feet in width, 90 feet in length or 125,000 pounds in weight may be required to provide an escort vehicle for movement on the Turnpike System.

(e) Overweight/Over-dimensional vehicles may travel on the Turnpike System only on days and at times designated by the Commission. The Safety Department will provide schedules and additional information upon request.

(f) If the requester is unable to travel on the planned date of movement, the requester shall notify the Safety Department accordingly.

601.15 Vehicles Excluded from the PA Turnpike

(a) During adverse weather conditions, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, vehicles towing trailers, tandem trailers, buses and overweight/over-dimensional vehicles may be excluded from parts or all of the Turnpike System. Vehicles may be excluded from the Turnpike System to effect proper snow removal or to remedy hazardous situations. Unsafe vehicles may be excluded at any time.

(b) Overweight/Over-dimensional vehicles are prohibited from using the Turnpike System except by special permit from the Commission, as indicated in § 601.1 and § 601.14 (Overweight/Over-dimensional Vehicles).

(c) Vehicles which are not capable of maintaining a speed of at least 15 miles per hour below the posted speed limit on level roadway are prohibited from using the Turnpike System.

(d) No non-motorized vehicles are permitted to be operated on the Turnpike System.

601.16 Penalties

A person violating a provision of this part for which no penalty has otherwise been provided by statute is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $25.

601.17 Authorized Vehicles

(a) For the purposes of this chapter, the term “authorized vehicle” shall be defined as follows:

(1) A vehicle which carries the Commission seal, including automobiles and construction and maintenance vehicles.

(2) A vehicle owned by the Commission which does not carry the PA Turnpike seal.

(3) A vehicle driven by a Commission employee used in an official capacity and in the performance of employment.

(4) A vehicle of the Consulting Engineer utilized in the furtherance of the Consulting Engineer’s duties, under the Trust Indenture.

(5) A vehicle of any consultant under contract with the Commission utilized in the furtherance of the consultant’s duties.

(6) A towing or wrecking vehicle which meets the following conditions:

(i) Through contract with the Commission is an authorized service dealer and the vehicle displays that designation.

(ii) Is called by an authorized employee of the Commission or the State Police to perform special clean-up or towing services.

(7) A construction vehicle owned, leased or operated by a company performing a construction contract for the Commission which is operating within the terms of the contract.

(8) A vehicle which has obtained prior permission form the Commission and is moving under the supervision of a State Trooper in executing the otherwise restricted activity.

(9) A vehicle operated by the State Police.

(b) An authorized vehicle under this section has the same rights and privileges accorded by statute, rule or regulation to a vehicle designated as authorized by the Department of Transportation.

(c) An authorized vehicle under this section may, at the Commission’s discretion, carry flashing or revolving yellow or amber lights, lighted arrow boards, and other warning devices for traffic control at accidents scenes or in other emergency situations.

601.18 Accident Prevention Investigations

(a) The Commission may conduct in-depth accident investigations and safety studies of the human, vehicle and environmental aspects of traffic accidents for the purpose of determining the cause of traffic accidents and the improvements which may help prevent similar types of accidents or increase the overall safety of the PA Turnpike roadway and bridges.

(b) In-depth crash investigations and safety studies and information, records and reports used in their preparation shall not be discoverable nor admissible as evidence in any civil action or proceeding, nor shall officers or employees or the agencies charged with the development, procurement or custody of in-depth accident investigations, and safety study records and reports be required to give depositions or evidence pertaining to anything contained in such in-depth accident investigations or safety study records or reports in any civil action or other proceeding.

601.101 Length Limit for Tandems

A semitrailer, or the trailer of a tandem trailer combination, may not be longer than 28 ½ feet. A tandem combination – including the truck tractor, semitrailer and trailer – which exceeds 85 feet in length is considered an overweight/over-dimensional vehicle which requires a special permit to travel on the Turnpike System.

601.102 Weight and Dimensional Limits for Tandems

A tandem trailer combination which is considered a Class 9 vehicle shall require a special permit to travel on the Turnpike System. The maximum gross weight that may be carried upon any one axle may not exceed 22,400 pounds. A tandem trailer combination which exceeds the maximum gross axle weight shall be upgraded to the next higher vehicle classification. In tandem combinations, the heaviest trailer shall be towed next to the truck tractor.

601.103 Exclusion of Tandem Tank Trailers

Tandem tank trailer combinations transporting hazardous materials, substances or wastes, as defined in 49 CFR Chapter 1 (relating to research and special programs administration, Department of Transportation) are prohibited from using the Turnpike System.

601.104 Brakes

The brakes on a vehicle or dolly converter or combination of vehicles used in tandem trailer operations shall comply with the minimum requirements in 49 CFR Part 393, Subpart C (relating to brakes).

601.105 Emergency Equipment

A truck tractor used in tandem trailer operations shall, at a minimum, be equipped with emergency equipment as required by 49 CFR Part 393, Subpart H (relating to emergency equipment).

601.106 Coupling and Towing Vehicles

Coupling and towing devices used in tandem trailer operations shall comply with 49 CFR Part 393, Subpart F (relating to coupling devices and towing methods).

601.107 Dollies

When the distance between the rear of the semitrailer and the front of the following trailer is 10 feet or more, the dolly shall be equipped with a device, or the trailers shall be connected along the sides with suitable material, which shall indicate to other Turnpike System users that the trailers are connected and are in effect one unit. These devices or connections shall be approved by the Commission prior to use on a tandem trailer combination.

601.108 Lighting Devices and Reflectors

Each trailer in a tandem trailer combination shall, at a minimum, be equipped with the electrical devices and reflectors required by 49 CFR Part 393, Subpart B (relating to lighting devices, reflectors, and electrical equipment).