PA Jeepers Be Warned - You can get fined!

Scottroxxx

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Not anymore! We can have all the fireworks we want now
We have the cheesy stuff now too, I'm still coming for the good stuff with my doors off AND my tires will stick out past my fenders too!
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BeeLDub

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Rich Mac

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Not OEM, so they won't help you. Full or Half doors only
Are you 100% certain on that? I believe I read that, as long as you could secure it, you could use a sheet of plywood as a door in a vehicle with a removable top.
 
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BeeLDub

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Are you 100% certain on that? I believe I read that, as long as you could secure it, you could use a sheet of plywood as a door in a vehicle with a removable top.
https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/067/chapter175/s175.77.html

A vehicle specified under this subchapter shall be equipped with doors of a type used as original equipment.
In some states, maybe. In PA, they must be "of a type" used as OE.

I'm seeing a lot of people getting ticketed for this right now. I'm seeing it more and more on the PA Jeep Facebook groups, and on the much more active thread for this on a different forum. The Change.org petition got its 5000 signatures, but it seems like those who represent us in our State Government are coming up with bigger and bigger BS as to why this won't be changed.
 
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Rich Mac

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https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/067/chapter175/s175.77.html

"A vehicle specified under this subchapter shall be equipped with doors of a type used as original equipment."

In some states, maybe. In PA, they must be "of a type" used as OE.

I'm seeing a lot of people getting ticketed for this right now. I'm seeing it more and more on the PA Jeep Facebook groups, and on the much more active thread for this on a different forum. The Change.org petition got its 5000 signatures, but it seems like those who represent us in our State Government are coming up with bigger and bigger BS as to why this won't be changed.
I believe that semantics could be used in our favor and possibly successfully argued. The original equipment, by design, is removable and in no way necessary for operation of the vehicle. The code reads "doors of a type used", not "doors of a type provided or supplied". The door is fundamentally an accessory that may or may not be used rendering this sentence in the code moot for Jeep Wranglers.

I know that I'm splitting hairs, but that is essentially what any ticketing officer is doing. I don't believe the intention of the code is to force Wranglers to have doors. The next line in the code nearly contradicts the line you quoted, "The doors shall open and close securely unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side." If the code is read literally then my Wrangler must have full doors on it but they don't have to even latch to anything if I have the roof off.

I don't know if anyone has tried arguing along these lines to a Judge. I'd be curious to see the response if they did.

....and I DO NOT mean to argue with you. I totally agree and support your cause. I believe this ridiculous and poorly written piece of code needs to be clarified to allow us to utilize our vehicles in a way intended by the manufacturer and allowed in 49 other states (I think it's legal everywhere else).
 

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I believe that semantics could be used in our favor and possibly successfully argued. The original equipment, by design, is removable and in no way necessary for operation of the vehicle. The code reads "doors of a type used", not "doors of a type provided or supplied". The door is fundamentally an accessory that may or may not be used rendering this sentence in the code moot for Jeep Wranglers.

I know that I'm splitting hairs, but that is essentially what any ticketing officer is doing. I don't believe the intention of the code is to force Wranglers to have doors. The next line in the code nearly contradicts the line you quoted, "The doors shall open and close securely unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side." If the code is read literally then my Wrangler must have full doors on it but they don't have to even latch to anything if I have the roof off.

I don't know if anyone has tried arguing along these lines to a Judge. I'd be curious to see the response if they did.

....and I DO NOT mean to argue with you. I totally agree and support your cause. I believe this ridiculous and poorly written piece of code needs to be clarified to allow us to utilize our vehicles in a way intended by the manufacturer and allowed in 49 other states (I think it's legal everywhere else).
The PA code is an inspection code not an operating code. It should only apply to PA registered vehicles.

The code also specifies something about "manufactured with a roof"..... jeep tops are accessories, not manufactured as part of the vehicle.
 
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BeeLDub

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I believe that semantics could be used in our favor and possibly successfully argued. The original equipment, by design, is removable and in no way necessary for operation of the vehicle. The code reads "doors of a type used", not "doors of a type provided or supplied". The door is fundamentally an accessory that may or may not be used rendering this sentence in the code moot for Jeep Wranglers.

I know that I'm splitting hairs, but that is essentially what any ticketing officer is doing. I don't believe the intention of the code is to force Wranglers to have doors. The next line in the code nearly contradicts the line you quoted, "The doors shall open and close securely unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side." If the code is read literally then my Wrangler must have full doors on it but they don't have to even latch to anything if I have the roof off.

I don't know if anyone has tried arguing along these lines to a Judge. I'd be curious to see the response if they did.

....and I DO NOT mean to argue with you. I totally agree and support your cause. I believe this ridiculous and poorly written piece of code needs to be clarified to allow us to utilize our vehicles in a way intended by the manufacturer and allowed in 49 other states (I think it's legal everywhere else).
I totally see your thoughts, I don't see it as an argument.

It's actually kind of hard for me on here, because we already have dozens of pages about this on another forum, withe everyone more-or-less on the same page. Here, I seem to be the only one with some background info on this, so I'm regurgitating a lot of older info. But as a whole, part of our push is to get the code at least re-worded or clarified so that there is less confusion.

To start, no arguments have worked. Several people have taken their court date to try and push back, and to my knowledge, nobody has won. They have tried the argument that they're designed to come off. They have tried the argument that the doors are not designed to protect you in an accident. They have tried the argument that their top was off. No luck on any front.

To counter your thoughts on this, (again, not as an argument) I explain it like this:
- The first line supersedes all.
A vehicle specified under this subchapter shall be equipped with doors of a type used as original equipment.
This means they must be installed on the Jeep.

- The first half of the second line is to address safety concerns.
The doors shall open and close securely...
They need to open in the event of an emergency, such as fire or flood, so that the passengers can get out, and they need to close securely so that they're not flapping in the wind.

The second half is an exception only to the first half. If this were a new sentence all together, it may be considered an exception to the first line, but it is part of the second sentence, therefore can only be considered an exception to the open/close portion.
...unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side.
This is just stating that your doors do not need to open (or close, but I believe that is not the intention) if you have no top or sides, because now you have a way out of the vehicle in the event of an emergency.
I have taken a lot of technical writing courses, had to for my major, and I feel that this is the most accurate break-down of the code. But, all codes are up for interpretation, and I may not be 100% correct.

 
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BeeLDub

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The PA code is an inspection code not an operating code. It should only apply to PA registered vehicles.

The code also specifies something about "manufactured with a roof"..... jeep tops are accessories, not manufactured as part of the vehicle.
Correct. This is an inspection code, only applicable to Jeeps registered in PA. However, that hasn't stopped out-of-state Jeeps being pulled over, and I believe at least 1 has been ticketed (a New York Jeep). They should have no problem fighting it in that case.

As for the roof, the line states "...unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof..." which we agree, Jeeps are manufactured without a roof. But this doesn't allow you to go doorless, this allows you to weld your doors shut if you so desire.
 
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BeeLDub

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Someone got a ticket yesterday just South of Pittsburgh, and the officer gave them the following PennDOT flyer (see bottom right of the first page):
691b7febf0be2a7a807c35f260c23d9d.jpg
 

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BeeLDub...as for your fist reply, I find it interesting. I still would be interested to hear the Judge's explanation. I still contend that the doors are an accessory. They are designed to come off - my owners manual tells me how to remove them AND still operate the vehicle. In that sense they are no different than a floor mat.

As for the second reply...that is simply a PennDOT pamplet. It's not code. I can tell you that PennDOT has it's own agenda and will print their own interpretation of the code. If the officer was going to ticket me, I'd be happy to explain that to him. If he wasn't - then I'd keep my mouth shut and move along ;-)

Anyhow, it seems like all avenues have been taken and I am going to lose my argument at the end of the day. I know plenty of cops and they are mostly good guys. Unfortunately, there are a few jerks out there that would be happy to ruin someone's day over a petty interpretation of PA Vehicle Code. Unless a thousand jeeps block I-80 out in Harrisburg for 4 hours I just don't see our legislators caring enough to get this re-written.
 
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BeeLDub

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BeeLDub...as for your fist reply, I find it interesting. I still would be interested to hear the Judge's explanation. I still contend that the doors are an accessory. They are designed to come off - my owners manual tells me how to remove them AND still operate the vehicle. In that sense they are no different than a floor mat.
I see your point. But another thing against it is that the owner's manual states that operation of the vehicle without doors is for off-road purposes only. That one is killing us!

As for the second reply...that is simply a PennDOT pamplet. It's not code. I can tell you that PennDOT has it's own agenda and will print their own interpretation of the code. If the officer was going to ticket me, I'd be happy to explain that to him. If he wasn't - then I'd keep my mouth shut and move along ;-)
Agreed, but the pamphlet is to help clarify the codes. PennDOT is in charge of the PA Vehicle Codes, so when official clarification is needed, it goes to PennDOT.

Anyhow, it seems like all avenues have been taken and I am going to lose my argument at the end of the day. I know plenty of cops and they are mostly good guys. Unfortunately, there are a few jerks out there that would be happy to ruin someone's day over a petty interpretation of PA Vehicle Code. Unless a thousand jeeps block I-80 out in Harrisburg for 4 hours I just don't see our legislators caring enough to get this re-written.
We have tried so many things! Best thing we can do right now is to get as many people as possible to reach out to their Reps and ask for their support.

As for your last suggestion, I would be ALL for it!! We've tried to get "demonstrations" together, even asking for Quadratec's help (headquarters in West Chester, PA) but no luck. Nobody seems to care enough until they get a ticket themselves. We've even reached out to the group that got the motorcycle helmet law changed, no response.
 

CBRed11

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I appreciate the insight. I was pulled over this morning in Eagleville, Lower Providence Township Police, and given a warning for being doorless. I've driven almost 8 years every summer doorless and my first time pulled over. He was adamant about it being illegal even though I have the mirrors. Keep us posted and I will throw my support behind any action going. Thanks
 
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BeeLDub

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I appreciate the insight. I was pulled over this morning in Eagleville, Lower Providence Township Police, and given a warning for being doorless. I've driven almost 8 years every summer doorless and my first time pulled over. He was adamant about it being illegal even though I have the mirrors. Keep us posted and I will throw my support behind any action going. Thanks
Did he just give you a warning, or an actual citation?

It is illegal, regardless of mirrors. But it appears Jeepers are more likely to be approached if they don't have mirrors, blasting the music, feet hanging out the door, etc. The less you can do to draw attention, the better.
 
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BeeLDub

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Update - 07.24.2018:

Rep. Kurt Masser is apparently doing an amendment to the original language of his bill (HB 976) which will allow Jeeps without doors to operate on roads that are less than 55 mph, and higher speed roads would give a fine only as a secondary offense. They are trying to get this on a Transportation committee voting meeting when they come back into session in September.

Unfortunately, since the legislative session ends November 30th, it is unlikely this will be able to get through the House and then the Senate before the end of session. Rep. Masser will be reintroducing the bill in January of 2019.
 
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