So, the stress of working at home in the Lehigh Valley building and coming to lunch, instead of walking around and taking the risk of getting a corona virus from a pedestrian, you jump into the car and drive relaxed.
It turns out you violated Governor Tom Wolf stay at home, which makes exceptions to exercise but not mobile mental health visits or other insignificant sightseeing behind the wheel.
On March 29, a 19-year-old woman from York who had left for a trip was delayed by Pennsylvania State Police police because what they said was the wrong back lights and windows that were too dark in color, according to media reports. . But what he quoted in the end was violated the Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1955, one of the two state laws that give enforcement powers to orders to stay at home, the report said. If found guilty – and he entered an innocent plea – he faces a fine and costs and costs north of $ 200. And, the law states, if proven guilty and he doesn’t pay, he can go to jail for 30 days.
While unimportant business bans have received a lot of publicity and a lot of warnings for business owners across the state, driving restrictions have received almost no public encouragement.
“Sunday travel is not an important trip,” Pennsylvania State Trooper M Public Police Nathan Branosky said in an email Monday morning.
“Does that mean that everyone who uses the drive will be quoted / warned?” He asked. “There are no roadblocks, no checkpoints, etc. The decision to warn / quote is made based on the totality of the unique circumstances of each meeting. But to repeat, staying at home means staying at home. “
The Lehigh Valley became part of Wolf’s order on March 25; the entire state is now under limits. Orders remain at home in New Jersey on March 24. There have been 11,510 positive tests in Pennsylvania for COVID-19, a disease caused by coronavirus, and 150 deaths, while in New Jersey there were more than 37,500 cases and 917 deaths.
In an emergency situation, the governor of Pennsylvania can determine who enters and departs, in this case, the state and the “movement of people in it,” orders the order.
Police reached Monday morning across the Lehigh Valley saying they saw their role in home stay orders as education for the most part, but officers would take action if needed.
Allentown has warned some people about driving that is not important, said Chief Assistant Steve Vangelo. Traffic stops cannot be carried out under state law without a major violation, he said – usually a violation of the traffic code but may be a criminal behavior that is likely to cause the driver to tow. Violation of staying at home will be a secondary violation, can only be enforced if the driver did something wrong to attract the attention of officers.
“We are just trying to keep people safe at the moment,” he said.
Bethlehem police chief Mark DiLuzio said people must follow the rules of staying at home set by the governor and guidelines for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“By following (them), you protect yourself and your family. My advice: Use your common sense and help each other, “he said.
The city department, which works with “citizens and businesses during this emergency,” has not yet quoted anyone and “we do not intend to quote anyone,” DiLuzio said.
Whitehall Township police chief Michael Marks echoed DiLuzio’s request for common sense, extending it not only to drive but also to the purpose of the trip.
“People need to consider the potential consequences of coming out of new worldly norms to live in their homes,” Marks said in an email.
He points out there are problems along the city’s main retail lines, where business owners do “extraordinary work” to keep stores clean and safe, but “there are limits to what they can achieve.”
“… These shops are not safe places for people to escape from booking to stay at home … especially with your whole family.”
People need to realize that their decisions “can have big consequences for others,” he said. “People need to understand that we are all together and the community depends on every citizen to do the right thing” to “stem the tide of this virus.”
Branosky said while the order was mandatory, “voluntary compliance is preferred.”
“At the moment, the troops are focused on making sure residents are aware of the order and informing the public about practices of maintaining social distance,” he said.
Chief Wilson Borough, Chris Meehan added, “We don’t want to punish people” in difficult times and difficult situations, but his department is kept up to date with law enforcement information from the governor’s office. Overall, people obey Wolf’s orders, with the biggest headache being the gathering of young people, he said. While his department has issued a warning to drivers, a bigger problem is if people ignore the guidelines and “endanger the public,” he said.
Slate Belt Regional Head, Jonathon Hoadley, agrees that young people instead of drivers need more attention from their departments. Weona Park in Pen Argyl was finally closed when visitors fail to comply with social distance standards.
The roads in northern Northampton County are almost the only scope for truck drivers after 8 pm. today. Most of the cars got off the road at that time, he said.
While the department charged five drivers with DUI in March, there was a slight problem with drivers “going out when they shouldn’t,” he said.
If there is a separate basis for traffic stops, Bangor “officers have been instructed to politely notify the driver / occupant of an order to stay at the governor’s house,” Chief Scott Felchock said in an email. “Officers have discretion in whether a” Quotation or written warning will be issued for violations of motorized vehicles. We don’t stop vehicles based on suspicion that someone is out to have fun. “
The Bangor police have not quoted anyone for operating a business that is not important or for driving that is not important, he said.
Colonial Regional Head Roy Seiple said the starting point was to keep the road safe, and that meant, “We stop serious traffic violations where violators can endanger others. We do not arbitrarily stop people who drive, because there is no way to know whether they commute to work that sustains their lives, nor do we have any plans unless directed by the governor. “
And people are allowed to do outdoor activities, he added in the email.
“So what do you think?” she says. “We all navigate uncharted waters.”
Officers “were given the authority to use their discretion when making arrests,” Seiple said. Violations of orders to stay at home – be it for business or drivers – are reviewed by the detective sergeant for possible prosecution, said Seiple.
“Although we relax public contacts, however, we will not neglect our law enforcement responsibilities,” he said.
Whitehall Chief Marks is equally clear that although “we do not actively pursue people who disregard mandates, we also will not hesitate to do our duty to protect others. Brave men and women who have chosen this career know the dangers inherent in the job. We not only hope for obedience for the sake of everyone in America, but we also have families and loved ones that we try to keep out of danger too.
“Almost everyone I know has a loved one in the population at risk. The last thing they want is to bring the virus home, as a result of someone who feels like walking around an important store because they are bored. “
Then educating the public about the requirements is the key.
What happened, said Trooper Branosky, was “The troops have been encouraged to use contact with the public as an opportunity to reinforce the need to obey orders to stay at home.”
Travel in Keystone State, as ordered, is limited to:
- Important tasks to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as getting medicines or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or getting the supplies they need to work from home
- Get the services or supplies needed for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of a voluntary effort, or to provide these services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation and important operations of a residence.
- Engage in outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distance
- To do the work of providing essential products and services in a life-sustaining business
- To care for family members or pets in other households
- Any travel related to providing or access to the individual activities mentioned above or life-sustaining business activities
- Travel to care for seniors, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, or other vulnerable people
- Traveling to or from an educational institution for the purpose of receiving materials for distance learning, to receive food, and other related services
- Travel to return to your residence from outside jurisdiction
- Travel is required by law enforcement or court orders
- A trip is required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the Commonwealth
- Anyone who travels that sustains life does not need documents to prove the reason for the trip.
The following operations are excluded:
- Business activities that sustain life
- Provider of health services or medical services
- Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
- Access to child care services for employees from businesses that support life that remains open is as follows: child care facilities operating under the Human Services Department, Child Development Office and the Early Learning neglect process; group and family day care services that operate in dwellings; and part-time school age programs operating under the exception of the March 19 2020 Business Closure Order
- News media
- Law enforcement, emergency medical service personnel, firefighters
- Federal government
- Religion institution
Tell us your coronavirus story, whether it’s a news tip, the topic you want to cover, or a personal story that you want to share.
Tony Rhodin can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. If there is anything about this story that needs attention, please send an email to him. Find out lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]