The shutdown of the courts in mid-March has created a serious complication for those who commit traffic violations and for the officials charged with enforcing the laws. But action taken by the state Senate today offers clarification, according to Sen. Lisa Baker (PA 20th), who worked with representatives from the judicial system to forge solutions.
“Individuals who are prevented from paying or challenging their citations could be facing license suspensions that are not warranted,” explained Baker. “These suspensions would make it harder for them to get their lives back on track as things start to reopen.”
The remedy halts PennDOT’s ability to suspend driver’s licenses during judicial emergencies, or until the court provides appropriate alternatives for people to plead their cases. It is part of a package of bills to address some of the unforeseen consequences of the actions taken to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Legislation delaying the Statue of Limitations for civil and criminal cases, granting extensions for court filings, and giving individuals extra time to make payments or court appearances were already approved by the Senate and are awaiting a vote in the House.