Written by Gregory Monte.
I said ordinances – not ordnance!
Bad joke, I know, but I couldn’t help myself…
In Pennsylvania and many other states, local authorities are allowed to regulate traffic on their local streets. The only catch is that they have to pass an ordinance through their borough council in order for these traffic-control devices to be enforceable. My son won his case based on this realization. If you want to read all about it, check out my 23-page eBook How My Son Beat an Unfair Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania.
Here is a brief summary:
PA Title 75 6109(a) states:
“The provisions of this title shall not be deemed to prevent … local authorities on streets or highways within their physical boundaries from … (2) Regulating traffic by means of police officers or official traffic-control devices.”
PA Title 75 6109(b) states:
“Action taken by local authorities … shall be by ordinance of the local governing body…”
So, if you put these two together, it means that local authorities are allowed to regulate traffic on their local streets as indicated in 6109(a), but they have to pass an ordinance as per 6109(b).
Furthermore, all states abide by the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which emphasizes this exact same requirement:
Federal MUTCD Section 1A.08 Authority for Placement of Traffic Control Devices states: “Traffic control devices … shall be placed only as authorized by a public body.”
The Bottom Line: A traffic-control device can’t be enforced if it has not been properly approved.
If you are still not convinced about the way this works, check out one of my free resources which explains this all in a quick 1-page summary: The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Defense Strategy in a Nutshell.