[67 PA. CODE CH. 601]

Traffic Regulations

[30 Pa.B. 3175]

   The Turnpike Commission (Commission) amends §§ 601.1, 601.4--601.6, 601.9, 601.15 and 601.101 and adds § 601.18 to read as set forth in Annex A. The Commission adopts the following amendments under the authority of the act of May 21, 1937 (P. L. 774, No. 211) (36 P. S. § 652d); section 7 of the act of September 30, 1985 (P. L. 240, No. 61) (36 P. S. § 651.7); and 75 Pa.C.S. § 6110 (relating to regulation of traffic on Pennsylvania Turnpike).

A.  Purpose

   The amendments are intended to promote the health, safety and welfare of the Commission's customers and are designed to update, clarify and improve the Commission's traffic regulations.

B.  Summary of Proposal

   After a review of its existing regulations, the Commission adopted amendments at its April 6, 2000, Commission meeting as follows:

§ 601.1.  Definitions.

   The definition of ''Class 9 vehicle'' has been amended in conjunction with § 601.101 to increase the length limit for tandems from 76 feet to 85 feet. The definition of ''Commission'' has been amended for purposes of clarification.

§ 601.4.  Speed limits.

   This section has been amended to allow for a maximum speed limit not to exceed the posted limit in conjunction with 75 Pa.C.S. § 6110 to reflect the current speed limits on the Turnpike. The minimum speed limit has been amended from 40 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour below the posted speed limit to account for different speed zones on the Turnpike, to facilitate a free flow of traffic and to improve safety.

§ 601.5.  Hazardous materials.

   The Department of Transportation (Department) terminated its hazardous materials permitting process and the Commission, following the Department's lead, has done the same. The Commission will no longer issue hazardous materials permits, since transporters of hazardous materials are presently required to obtain a Federal permit. The amendment conforms the Commission to the Federal permit system.

   Transportation of hazardous materials through the existing Turnpike tunnels is limited by regulation. This section has been amended to permit transportation of several hazardous materials which were previously prohibited. These materials are permitted in nonbulk packaging only. A consulting firm has determined the Commission's tunnel restrictions for transportation of hazardous materials are more restrictive than surrounding states. Consequently, transporters of hazardous materials may choose less restrictive routes, which routes not only may be ill equipped to respond to accidents but also may be located closer to residences. The intent of the amendment is both to encourage more transporters of hazardous materials to travel the closed system of the Turnpike and to guarantee the safety of all individuals traveling the Turnpike.

§ 601.6.  Parking, stopping, loading or unloading.

   The amendment to this section is editorial.

§ 601.9.  U-turns.

   The amendment to this section is editorial.

§ 601.15.  Vehicles excluded from the Turnpike.

   This section has been amended to prohibit vehicles that cannot maintain the minimum speed required in § 601.4 and to prohibit nonmotorized vehicles. Both slow moving vehicles and nonmotorized vehicles present a serious hazard to all individuals traveling the Turnpike.

§ 601.101.  Length limit for tandems.

   The length limit for tandem trailer combinations has been amended from 76 feet to 85 feet. To enter the Turnpike, vehicles over 85 feet now require a Class 9 permit. The maximum length limit for commercial carriers has been increased to accommodate the increasing number of tandem trailer combinations which exceed the present 76 foot maximum requirement. In addition, the length amendment improves public safety by reducing tandem trailer combination travel on State and local roads which may have no length limitations but may be less equipped to accommodate the size of these vehicles.

§ 601.18.  Accident prevention investigations.

   This addition will allow the Commission to perform in-depth investigations and studies of accidents and the causes thereof in an attempt to eliminate these causes. This information will be privileged and confidential so as to cause no ill effect to the Commission. The amendment is designed to protect this information.

C.  Comment and Response Summary

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 29 Pa.B. 4968 (September 25, 1999). The proposal is being adopted with changes as set forth in Annex A.

   The Commission received one comment from the public during the public comment period. The Commission also received comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). No comments were received from the House Transportation Committee or the Senate Transportation Committee.

   The amendments to the proposed rulemaking in response to comments are as follows:

   (1)  IRRC questioned the statutory authority supporting the proposed administrative fee in § 601.5(f), to be imposed for violation of the hazardous materials transportation regulations. After additional consideration, the Commission has withdrawn this provision from its final-form regulations.

   (2)  IRRC questioned the basis for eliminating the Commission-issued permit to transport hazardous materials, addressed in § 601.5(a)--(e). In addition to following the Department's elimination of a requirement for a hazardous materials permit, the Commission proposes to eliminate its permitting process, since the Code of Federal Regulations addresses transportation of hazardous materials.

   (3)  Both IRRC and a commentator questioned the provisions of § 601.18(b), limiting the discoverability of accident investigations in civil and criminal proceedings. The proposal has been modified to limit the discoverability of investigative reports in civil proceedings. This modification reflects recent case law, which requires accident investigations to be shared with authorities in criminal proceedings.

   (4)  For clarity of § 601.6(b), the Commission accepts IRRC's recommendation to eliminate the following provision: ''The State Police may remove or direct removal of the vehicle within 24 hours of the time of the vehicle's presumption of abandonment.''

   (5)  For clarity of § 601.4, the Commission accepts IRRC's recommendation to delete specific references to speed limits included in § 601.4 and require vehicles to obey the posted maximum and minimum speed limits.

D.  Effective Date

   The final-form rulemaking takes effect upon publication of final adoption in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and after posting of the approved regulations at the Commission interchanges. The approved regulations will remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the Commission.

E.  Paperwork

   The final-form regulations will not increase paperwork or create new paperwork for the Commonwealth or political subdivisions.

F.  Fiscal Impact

   The Commission is funded primarily by bonds and tolls. Therefore, these final-form regulations will not have any fiscal impact on the Commonwealth.

G.  Sunset Requirement

   The Commission has not established a sunset date for these regulations rulemaking because the traffic regulations are in effect on a continual basis. The Commission continually monitors its regulations and will propose appropriate amendments when required.

H.  Contact Person

   The contact person for an explanation of the amendments is Lydia H. Lucas, Assistant Counsel, Turnpike Commission, P. O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 or (717) 939-9551.

I.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on August 13, 1999, the Commission submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 29 Pa.B. 4968, to IRRC and the Chairpersons of the House Committee on Transportation and the Senate Committee on Transportation for review and comment.

   In compliance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Commission also provided IRRC and the Committees with copies of the comments received as well as other documentation. In preparing these final-form regulations, the Commission has considered the comments received from IRRC and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), these final-form regulations were deemed approved by the Committees on May 10, 2000. Under section 5.1(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on May 11, 2000, and approved the final-form regulations.

J.  Findings

   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to amend the regulations has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  The amendments are necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.

K.  Order

   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 67 Pa. Code Chapter 601, are amended by amending §§ 601.1, 601.4--601.6, 601.9, 601.15 and 601.101 and by adding § 601.18 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for approval as to form and legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  The Commission is funded primarily by bonds and tolls. Because there is no direct cost to the Commonwealth as a result of these proposed amendments, the Commission has not submitted a fiscal note.

   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 30 Pa.B. 2688 (June 3, 2000).)

Annex A





§ 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.

   Class 9 vehicle--A vehicle which exceeds 100,000 pounds in weight, 13 feet 6 inches in height, 10 feet in width, 85 feet in overall length, or which has a load or part thereof extending 5 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 3 feet and the rear overhang does not exceed 4 feet.

   Commission--The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

   Deceleration lane--The portion of the roadway adjoining the traveled way constructed for the purpose of 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.

§ 601.4.  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.

§ 601.5.  Hazardous materials.

   (a)  Hazardous materials may be transported, under the 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, 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 the required Federal permits while traveling on the Turnpike System and shall present the permits upon demand to any Commission employe or the Pennsylvania State Police.

   (c)  Explosives Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and Radioactive materials as defined in 49 CFR 73.50 and 173.403, respectively (relating to Class 1--definitions; and definitions) are prohibited from being transported on the Turnpike 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 under the following chart. Restricted is defined as nontanker loads, limited to transport in nonbulk packaging of 119 gallons per container or less, under 49 CFR 171.8 (relating to definitions and abbreviations).

Table 1 Materials
Explosives 1.1
Explosives 1.2
Explosives 1.3
Poison Gas
Dangerous When Wet
Poison (Inhalation
Table 2 Materials
Explosives 1.4
Explosives 1.5
Explosives 1.6
Flammable Gas
Non-Flammable Gas
(Refrigerated Oxygen)
Flammable Liquids
Combustible (Fuel Oil)
Flammable Solid
Organic Peroxide
Keep Away From Food
Miscellaneous (Class 9)

§ 601.6.  Parking, stopping, loading or unloading.

   (a)  A vehicle may not be stopped, left standing, parked, loaded or unloaded on a traffic, acceleration or deceleration lane, or on the shoulder adjacent thereto. In case of emergency only, parking, stopping, standing, loading or unloading of a vehicle is permitted on the shoulder to the right of the travel lanes facing with the direction of travel when the wheels of the vehicle and the projecting parts of the body or load are safely off and to the right of the travel lanes. Parking, standing, stopping, loading or unloading on the shoulders is not permitted at:

   (1)  A bridge or structure.

   (2)  In front of a service station between the traffic lanes and the station area.

   (3)  A place where a sign prohibiting is posted.

   (b)  A vehicle otherwise permitted to park off the traffic, deceleration or acceleration lanes may not remain there longer than necessary to meet the emergency. A vehicle will not be permitted to remain anywhere on the Turnpike System longer than 24 hours. A vehicle remaining on the Turnpike System for more than 24 hours will be deemed to be abandoned and may immediately be removed by, or at the direction of, the State Police to the contract garage providing service for that area or to a nearby licensed salvor, at the owner's expense. The State Police will then promptly notify the registered owner of the vehicle by certified mail of its action, designating the milepost from which the vehicle is removed, the reason for its removal and the location of the contract garage to which it was removed. In the interest of safety, the Commission has the right to immediately remove any vehicle from a portion of the Turnpike traffic lanes, shoulders or other part of the Turnpike System.

§ 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.

§ 601.15.  Vehicles excluded from the Turnpike.

   (a)  During adverse weather conditions, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, vehicles towing trailers, tandem trailers, buses and Class 9 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)  Class 9 vehicles are prohibited from using the Turnpike System except by special permit from the Commission, as indicated in §§ 601.1 and 601.14 (relating to definitions; and Class 9 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)  Nonmotorized vehicles are not permitted to be operated on the Turnpike System.

§ 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 Turnpike roadway and bridges.

   (b)  In-depth accident investigations and safety studies and information, records and reports used in their preparation are not discoverable or admissible as evidence in any civil action or proceeding. Officers or employes or the agencies charged with the development, procurement or custody of in-depth accident investigations and safety study records and reports are not required to give depositions or evidence pertaining to anything contained in the 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 1/2 feet. A tandem combination--including the truck tractor, semitrailer and trailer--which exceeds 85 feet in length is considered a Class 9 vehicle which requires a special permit to travel on the Turnpike System.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-1081. Filed for public inspection June 23, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

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