Philadelphia and Town Watch30 Jul 2012 09:58 pm

Information from the Philadelphia Police Department 3rd District

Officers will be warning Bicyclist until Labor Day then Traffic Citations will be issued to violators.  

  • Under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, a bicycle being ridden on the street IS considered a vehicle, and as such riders are subject to the same “rules of the road” as any other motorist.
  •  Not only are riders expected to follow the provisions of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code when riding their bicycle on the highway (such as stopping at stop signs and red signals, riding the correct way on one way streets, yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk and even speed restrictions), riders are subject to the same penalties as motorists. Police Officers CAN issue traffic violations to riders who are observed breaking the law.
  •  Riders CAN face the same civil penalties as a motorist if their actions result in an accident or injury.
  •  Riders also CAN face the same criminal penalties as a motorist! Not only does this include possible charges if their actions result in property damage or injury to another, this also includes D.U.I. If an Officer determines a rider is operating a bicycle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, they CAN be arrested and charged with D.U.I. under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.
  •  Riders are expected to utilize the roadway and follow traffic patterns like any other vehicle, however the City of Philadelphia has enacted a special ordinance designed to protect pedestrians on the sidewalk. It states that “no person 12 years of age or more shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district.” It also states “whenever any person is riding on the sidewalk” (after exiting the roadway and reaching your destination) “such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.” A Police Officer CAN issue a traffic violation with a fine of $55.50 to riders observed violating this ordinance.


Philadelphia Police Department Warning (example)

This warning has been issued to you for the violation as shown below.

It has been issued at the officer’s discretion as a courtesy in lieu of a

Summons to court. Your future compliance with state law is requested.

DATE                          LOCATION



DOB                                   TELEPHONE NUMBER


*Failure to wear helmet MVC 3510

*Failure to ride on proper side of road MVC 3505

*Disregard stop sign MVC 3501

*Disregard traffic light MVC 3501

*Bicycle not equipped with proper equipment MVC 3507

*Reflector and/or lights MVC 3507.a

*Audible Signal Device MVC 3507.b

*Brakes MVC 3507.c

OFFICER             BADGE                    POLICE DISTRICT

Pennsylvania law requires all children under the age of 12 to wear an

ANSI or SNELL, ASTM, CPSC approved bicycle helmet when operating,

or riding a passenger, on a bicycle, tricycle or other pedal cycle.



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