HARRISBURG – A bill clarifying license plate obstruction violations became law last week to prevent criminalizing thousands of drivers overnight, said Sen. Scott Martin (R-13).
“You can look around any parking lot and you will see many vehicles with custom frames surrounding their license plates, often issued by their car dealers or of their favorite sports team,” Martin said. “That decision meant that any one of those drivers could be pulled over with probable cause. That wasn’t the intent of lawmakers, and certainly wasn’t fair to our motorists or our police departments. I’m pleased this law now fixes that for all parties involved.”
Martin’s comments reference a recent Superior Court decision in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Derrick Ruffin, in which a panel of three judges ruled that a Philadelphia police officer’s decision to pull over a vehicle because a custom license plate frame blocked the state’s tourism website from view was justified.
As a result, Martin sponsored Senate Bill 1357 that stipulates plate obstructions only apply to important identifiable information. It was amended into House Bill 1486 last month and became Act 112 after it became law with the Governor’s signature.
CONTACT: Terry Trego