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Crazy Pennsylvania Laws that still Exists

English: Reproduction of the title page of A C...

I was browsing Yahoo.com this morning when I came across a featured article entitled “Crazy Laws Governing Pennsylvania Residents“. Curiosity got the best of me, I had to click and read more. After reading further what I found was an article that explained five Pennsylvania laws that remain on the books long after their relevance has past/Laws that once had an important purpose, but are now just annoyances. Below is a list of these five laws and a short explanation of each, for more information you can view the full article by clicking here.

  • Removing Trespassing Livestock

If a Pennsylvania resident finds a farm animal on his or her property, the proper individual to inform is the constable. In Pennsylvania, constables are like police officers, except they have statewide authority to deal with both civil and criminal matters. Constables do not get a public salary, but may be paid with public funds based on the work that is done. Though most constables would not have the first idea of how to herd a cow off someone’s property, this law was recently included as part of the consolidation of laws relating to constables in 2009. The next time a PA resident has a cow or sheep take up residence on the lawn, be sure to contact your local constable.

  • Fireworks Can’t be Sold to Pennsylvanians

It is perfectly legal for licensed sellers to sell all different types of consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania. Those who sell the fireworks will need to look closely at the buyer’s identification, however, as Pennsylvania residents are not allowed to purchase the more extreme, or even most, fireworks. Those who are Pennsylvania residents can get a permit to put on a fireworks display, but other than that option, residents are generally limited to sparklers and other novelties. There are no limits as to which types of fireworks can be sold by licensed sellers in the state to non-residents, however.

  • Wine and Liquor Can Only Be Sold in State Stores

Unless you are drinking at a bar or restaurant, if you want to purchase liquor or wine in Pennsylvania, you will need to go to the state store. This arcane little law has become a fact of life for all Pennsylvania residents. Recently, there has been a push to privatize the liquor stores. Though the alcoholic beverages would still not be able to be sold in grocery stores, perhaps there could be a greater variety, selection, or price range at the different stores. Currently, every item is priced the same at each store.

  • 192-Ounce Limit for Beer

Unless you are purchasing beer from a beer distributor, you will be limited to a purchase of 192 ounces of beer or malt beverages in a single transaction in Harrisburg. Now, 192 ounces is not a small amount. In fact, it is the equivalent of 16 12-ounce bottles. It is still a strange law to have, though. Just recently, some specific grocery stores and gas stations have been allowed to sell a select few beer and malt beverages, which would seem to put Pennsylvania a little behind the times.

  • No Sunday Car Purchases

There used to be a number of prohibited activities on Sundays. Though most have been repealed by now, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, residents are still not able to purchase a vehicle from a licensed dealer that day. Though residents can likely buy alcoholic beverages on a Sunday, even with the restrictive alcohol laws of the state, they cannot purchase a vehicle.

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Teen drivers face new limits Tuesday in Pennsylvania

Roadsign - Seatbelt

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New restrictions for teen drivers in Pennsylvania take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, not Saturday, as previously reported. “Due to a calculation error, the effective date was incorrectly reported as Dec. 24 in a Dec. 19 PennDOT news release,” an agency update states.

As of Tuesday, 16- and 17-year-old drivers will need more training, they’ll be allowed to transport fewer passengers, and not wearing a seat belt will be enough for a teen driver to get pulled over. Even their teen passengers will have to buckle up. For older drivers, failure to wear a seat belt remains a secondary offense – subject to a fine if stopped for another reason.

Permit holders under 18 will need 65 hours of hands-on training, an increase of 15 hours. “Ten of the additional hours must include driving at night and five hours must occur during poor weather conditions,” according to a news release from the state.

The number of non-family passengers under age 18 is also restricted for drivers under 18, if no parent or guardian is present. It’s just one such passenger for the first six months after getting a junior license, which is possible at age 16-1/2. Then, until the driver turns 18, it’s three passengers – if the driver has a record free of committing violations and even partly causing crashes.

Winter advice from AAA. Speaking of young drivers, AAA Mid-Atlantic has some advice for parents: Help teen learn to handle winter driving. After a snowfall, parents should “take their teenage drivers to a big empty parking lot or open space and let him or her try stopping, starting and turning as safe speeds in a safe environment.” AAA also recommends reviewing the list of do’s and dont’s of winter driving, such as fully clear the vehicle of ice and snow, go slower, stay back, keep to major roads, avoid slamming brakes, avoid changing lanes, and don’t use cruise control.

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