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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEONARD E. CHUTZ (12/31/73)

decided: December 31, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT,
v.
LEONARD E. CHUTZ, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Leonard E. Chutz, No. 26 December Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

John L. Heaton, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anthony J. Maiorana, Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellant.

Michael M. Mamula, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 329]

Appellee's operating privileges were suspended by the Secretary of Transportation for a period of two months as a result of his conviction on April 17, 1972, of violating Section 1002(b)(8) of The Vehicle Code,

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 330]

Act of April 29, 1959, P.L. 58, as amended, 75 P.S. § 1002(b)(8), which provides:

"(8) The Secretary of Highways [now Transportation] may, after due investigation, establish any speed limit on State highways where traffic conditions or other conditions of the highway make it safe to operate motor vehicles at the speeds other than as provided by this act.

"Any such established speed limit shall be indicated by the erection of official signs, spaced not less than one-eighth (1/8) of a mile apart, on the right-hand side of the highway facing the traffic to be controlled, and at the end of the speed zone there shall be an official sign indicating the end of such speed zone, except that on limited access highways the signs shall be placed at the beginning and end of said limited access highways and at reasonable intervals in the discretion of the Secretary of Highways [now Transportation]." The record establishes that appellee was travelling 56 miles per hour in a zone the speed limit of which had been reduced by the Secretary of Transportation to 40 miles per hour.

Appellee appealed the Secretary's action in suspending his operating privileges to the Court of Common Pleas. In his petition for leave to appeal, he recited his unblemished record of driving, covering 22 years and 75,000 miles a year. He alleged he paid the fine and costs and was told "there would be no points against his record." He recited further his need to have his driving privileges reinstated to protect a $500,000 investment in the corporation for which he travels. The last paragraph alleged: "Your Petitioner avers that the suspension of his license for a period of two (2) months, or for any period is arbitrary, unjust and not in accord with the evidence and circumstances in the case, and will cause Petitioner great inconvenience and loss by reason of the fact that it is necessary for

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 331]

    him to use his driving privileges in order to earn his livelihood, and will work irreparable loss and hardship ...


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