Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Delaware County; Honorable Robert A. Wright, Judge.
Christopher J. Clements, Asst. Counsel, Harrisburg, with him, Donald H. Poorman, Asst. Counsel, Philadelphia, Harold H. Cramer, Asst. Chief Counsel, and John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Rolfe C. Marsh, Media, for appellee.
Craig and Barry, JJ., and Blatt, Senior Judge.
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 16]
This is an appeal by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (Department), from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County sustaining the license suspension appeal of Jonathon Reuben (Reuben). We reverse.
The Department suspended Reuben's operating and registration privileges for a three month period pursuant to Section 1785 of the Vehicle Code (Section 1785), 75 Pa.C.S. § 1785, based on Reuben's failure to provide proof of financial responsibility when it was requested following a two vehicle accident in which Reuben was involved. The accident was investigated by Daniel A. Celia (Celia), a police officer employed by the Borough of Swarthmore. The Department's action was appealed by Reuben to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. At the resultant hearing, Celia testified that, while investigating the accident, an occupant of the other car involved in the accident, Mr. Bognato, complained of back and neck pain to Celia. Pursuant to Mr. Bognato's request, Celia transported Mr. Bognato to a local hospital. In the course of investigating the accident, Celia was given an insurance card by Reuben. Celia contacted the insurance company identified on Reuben's insurance card and, based on the information received during the conversation, Celia notified the Department that Reuben did not have motor vehicle insurance.
Section 1785 of the Vehicle Code provides:
If the department determines that the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident requiring notice to a police department pursuant to section 3746 (relating to immediate notice to a police department) did not maintain financial responsibility on the motor vehicle at the time of the accident, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of the owner, where applicable, and the department shall revoke the registration of the vehicle.
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 17]
Reuben did not present any evidence at the hearing. Instead, Reuben argued that the Department failed to prove that the accident was of the type which must be reported to the police, asserting that there was no proof that either car needed towing or that anyone was injured within the meaning of Section 3746 of the Vehicle Code (Section 3746), 75 Pa.C.S. § 3746. In pertinent part, Section 3746 requires ...