Penssylvania Tow Safety Laws
§ 4905. Safety requirements for towed vehicles.
(a) Connecting devices and distances.--When one vehicle is towing another, the connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed. The distance between the vehicles shall not exceed 15 feet except between any two vehicles transporting poles, pipes, machinery or other objects of a structural nature such that they cannot readily be dismembered.
(b) Red flags and lights.--If the distance between the vehicles exceeds five feet, a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square shall be displayed upon the connection centered between the vehicles. During hours of darkness a red light shall be displayed at the same position in lieu of the flag or cloth.
(c) Deflection of trailer wheels.--Every trailer shall be attached to the vehicle drawing it so as to prevent the wheels of the trailer from deflecting more than six inches from the path of the drawing vehicle's wheels.
(d) Safety chains.--Whenever two vehicles are connected by a ball-and-socket type hitch, or pintle hook without a locking device, they shall also be connected by two safety chains of equal length, each safety chain having an ultimate strength at least equal to the gross weight of the towed vehicles. The safety chains shall be crossed and connected to the towed and towing vehicle and to the tow bar so as to prevent the tow bar from dropping to the ground in the event the tow bar fails or becomes disconnected. The safety chains shall have no more slack than is necessary to permit proper turning.
(e) Obstructed lighting equipment.--Whenever the rear running lights, stop lights, turn signals or hazard warning lights required by the provisions of Chapter 43 (relating to lighting equipment) are obstructed by the load on a vehicle or by a towed vehicle or its load, lighting equipment shall be displayed on the rear of the towed vehicle or load equivalent to the obstructed lights or signals, except in the case of implements of husbandry or commercial implements of husbandry displaying the slow-moving vehicle emblem and operating between sunrise and sunset.
(f) Penalty for violation of subsection (e).--
(1) A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 1603 (relating to definitions), in violation of subsection (e) commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $300 for each violation.
(2) A person who operates a motor vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 1603, in violation of subsection (e) commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100.
(June 23, 1981, P.L.98, No.35, eff. 60 days; Dec. 18, 1992, P.L.1411, No.174, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 1995, P.L.669, No.75, eff. 120 days)
1995 Amendment. Act 75 added subsec. (f).
1992 Amendment. Act 174 amended subsec. (e).
Cross References. Section 4905 is referred to in section 4904 of this title.
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