In a previous Vehicle Code Tip of The Day entry we discussed the amount of points assessed to a driver’s license by PennDOT after a conviction of certain offenses.  Why does PennDOT assess points and what are the ramifications for accumulation of points.  Section 1538 of the PA Vehicle Code provides an insight into points accumulation.

§ 1538. School, examination or hearing on accumulation of points or excessive speeding.

(a) Initial accumulation of six points.–When any person’s record for the first time shows as many as six points, the department shall require the person to attend an approved driver improvement school or undergo a special examination and shall so notify the person in writing. Upon satisfactory attendance and completion of the course or upon passing the special examination, two points shall be removed from the person’s record. Failure to attend and satisfactorily complete the requirements of driver improvement school shall result in the suspension of such person’s operating privilege for 60 days. Failure to pass the examination shall result in the suspension of the operating privilege until the examination has been satisfactorily completed.

(b) Second accumulation of six points.–

     (1) When any person’s record has been reduced below six points and for the second time shows as many as six points, the department shall require the person to attend a departmental hearing. The hearing examiner may recommend one or more of the following:

          (i) That the person be required to attend a driver improvement school.

          (ii) That the person undergo an examination as provided for in section 1508 (relating to examination of applicant for driver’s license).

          (iii) That the person’s driver’s license be suspended for a period not exceeding 15 days.

     (2) The department may effect or modify the recommendations of the hearing examiner but may not impose any sanction not recommended by the hearing examiner.

     (3) Upon completion of the sanction or sanctions imposed by the department, two points shall be removed from the person’s record.

     (4) Failure to attend the hearing or to attend and satisfactorily complete the requirements of a driver improvement school shall result in the suspension of such person’s operating privilege for 60 days. Failure to pass an examination shall result in the suspension of such person’s operating privilege until the examination has been satisfactorily completed.

(c) Subsequent accumulations of six points.–When any person’s record has been reduced below six points and for the third or subsequent time shows as many as six points, the department shall require the driver to attend a departmental hearing to determine whether the person’s operating privilege should be suspended for a period not to exceed 30 days. Failure to attend the hearing or to comply with the requirements of the findings of the department shall result in the suspension of the operating privilege until the person has complied.

(d) Conviction for excessive speeding.–

     (1) When any person is convicted of driving 31 miles per hour or more in excess of the speed limit, the department shall require the person to attend a departmental hearing. The hearing examiner may recommend one or more of the following:

          (i) That the person be required to attend a driver improvement school.

          (ii) That the person undergo an examination as provided for in section 1508.

          (iii) That the person have his driver’s license suspended for a period not exceeding 15 days.

     (2) The department shall effect at least one of the sanctions but may not increase any suspension beyond 15 days.

     (3) Failure to attend the hearing or to attend and satisfactorily complete the requirements of a driver improvement school shall result in the suspension of such person’s operating privilege for 60 days. Failure to pass an examination shall result in the suspension of such person’s operating privilege until the examination has been satisfactorily completed.

(e) Additional suspension of operating privilege.–

     (1) In addition to any other provisions of law relating to the suspension or revocation of operating privileges, a person’s operating privileges shall be suspended under any of the following circumstances:

          (i) Prior to reaching age 18, the person violates section 3362 (relating to maximum speed limits) by traveling 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit and the violation results in a conviction, guilty plea or plea of no contest before or after the person reaches age 18.

          (ii) The person accumulates six or more points under the provisions of section 1535 (relating to schedule of convictions and points) and the violations resulting in points accumulation were committed before the person reached age 18.

     (2) The first suspension under paragraph (1) shall be for a period of 90 days with every subsequent suspension under paragraph (1) to be for a period of 120 days. Suspensions under paragraph (1) shall be imposed consecutively to each other and to any other suspension. A suspension under paragraph (1) shall be considered a subsequent suspension even if it is imposed contemporaneously with a first suspension imposed under paragraph (1).

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