Rules of the Road

Know what to do when stopped by police, and brush up on laws for headlights, snow removal, and passing emergency response areas.

Ensuring Traffic Stop Safety

The Pennsylvania State Police partnered with Commonwealth Media Services to create a video devoted to traffic stop safety. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, learn what drivers must do and should do if stopped by the police. The video answers some of the most common questions about traffic stops.

Ensuring Traffic Stop Safety Video

What to expect during a traffic stop and tips to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Move Over Law

Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law requires drivers approaching or passing an emergency response area to move over. Drivers should safely merge into a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible, unless otherwise directed by an emergency service responder. If you are unable to move over, you are required to slow to no more than 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

An emergency response area is where a police or emergency vehicle has its lights flashing or where road crews or emergency responders have flares, caution signs, or other traffic-control devices.

Move Over also applies to tow trucks providing roadside assistance and to any disabled vehicle with at least two emergency displays present. Emergency displays include the vehicle’s hazard lights, caution signs or other traffic-control devices, and road flares.

Move Over sets a fine of up to $500 for first-time offenders, and the law doubles fines for several traffic violations when first responders are present. 

Pennsylvania vehicle code: 75 Pa. CS 3327. Duty of driver in emergency response areas and in relation to disabled vehicles

Snow and Ice

In winter, it is important to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle.

Pennsylvania law says drivers must make reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice or snow from vehicles, including the hood, trunk and roof, within 24 hours after a snow or ice event. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $50 for each offense, regardless of whether any snow or ice dislodged from the vehicle. 

When snow or ice falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian, causing death or serious bodily injury, drivers can be fined at least $200 and up to $1,500 for each offense.

Pennsylvania's vehicle code: 75 Pa. CS 3721. Snow and ice

Remember, state law also makes it unlawful to drive a motor vehicle if ice or snow on the windshield, rear window, or side windows obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.

Pennsylvania vehicle code: 75 Pa. CS 4524. Windshield obstructions and wipers


When your wipers are on, you must have headlights on.

Pennsylvania's vehicle code, 75 Pa. CS 4302. Periods for requiring lighted lamps, states:

The operator of a vehicle upon a highway shall display the lighted head lamps and other lamps and illuminating devices required under this chapter for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles, at the following times:

  1. Between sunset and sunrise.
  2. Any time when the operator cannot discern a person or vehicle upon the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, including rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog, smoke or smog.
  3. Any time when the vehicle's windshield wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to precipitation or atmospheric moisture, including rain, snow, sleet or mist.