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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEE ALAN DICKSON (12/24/81)

decided: December 24, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
LEE ALAN DICKSON, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lee Alan Dickson, No. 9519 of 1974.

COUNSEL

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Attorney General, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 404]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation (Department) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County directing the reinstatement of appellee Lee Alan Dickson's driving privileges.

Dickson's operator's license was suspended by the Department after he had committed a series of traffic violations which resulted in an accumulation of eleven points against his driver's license. The suspension was mandated by Section 1539(a) of the Vehicle Code,*fn1 which provides in pertinent part:

When any person's record shows an accumulation of 11 points or more, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of the person. . . .

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 405]

Appellee Dickson's points were amassed in the following manner. On February 19, 1977, Dickson received a citation for driving 35 miles per hour in excess of the legal speed limit. After attending a departmental hearing concerning the speeding violation, Dickson's license was suspended for 15 days.*fn2 On October 17, 1977, Dickson's operating rights were restored; and, pursuant to Section 1545 of the Vehicle Code, five (5) points remained outstanding against his driving record.*fn3 Approximately one month later, Dickson was cited for his failure to bring his vehicle to a halt at a stop sign. Dickson pled guilty to that offense, and three (3) additional points were charged against his driver's license. Since Dickson had accumulated more than six points, he was required to undergo a special examination and was so notified in writing.*fn4 Notification of the examination was mailed to Dickson on May 4, 1978. Prior to receiving notification of the examination, Dickson received a traffic citation for reckless driving.*fn5 Dickson was convicted of that offense on June 28, 1978. Upon certification of the conviction, three points were assessed against Dickson's driving record as of March 13, 1978, the date of the violation. The three points that Dickson acquired as a result of the reckless driving conviction brought the point total against his driving record to eleven (11) points. Due to the accumulation of the

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 406]

    eleven (11) points and pursuant to the Vehicle Code, the Department of Transportation, on September 4, 1978, suspended Dickson's license for one hundred and ten days.*fn6

Dickson appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County from the suspension of his operator's license. The lower court held that Dickson had completed a driver's training course, thereby entitling him to a deduction of two points against his driving record. Accordingly, that ...


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