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Can I Be Cited in PA for Not Speaking 'Sufficient' English

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Most states provide driver's license testing in other languages, such as FL

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Traffic Ticket Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

Under 49 CFR 391.11(b)(2), General qualifications of drivers, there is a prohibition that a person shall not drive a CMV unless he/she:

"Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records."

A driver can be put out of service for not meeting this requirement, but there is no Federal requirement to write a citation on the driver. If the officer has authority to write a citation under State law, that is their call. There is no specific PA motor vehicle statute that provides grounds for citing someone for not speaking 'sufficient' English.  Further, the problem with taking it to court is the judge many times will throw the case out of court because they say it is not the court's jurisdiction to definite "sufficient."

If you've been cited with a traffic violation in PA, don't risk the impact to your out of state license or insurance by pleading guilty.  Always take a hearing and hire counsel.  You may call Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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