Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
It’s a Jeep thing. … You wouldn’t understand, or so the saying goes.
House Bill 976, introduced by Rep. Kurt Masser, R-Columbia County, certainly is very much a Jeep thing, specifically a Jeep door thing.
Masser’s bill would allow drivers of vehicles manufactured with removable doors, like Jeep Wranglers, to operate their vehicle on state highways without doors.
Pennsylvania law currently prohibits vehicles to be driven on roadways when “any item of vehicle equipment which was required to be installed at the time of manufacture” has been removed or rendered inoperative.
Most Jeep Wranglers come equipped with this feature, however the manufacturer includes statement saying not to operate the vehicle on public roads without doors because drivers “will lose the protection that they can provide,” according a co-sponsorship letter written by Masser.
The manufacturer’s statement also says the option to remove the doors is for off-road driving only.
Masser, however, said he disagrees with this assertion.
“I feel that if it is indeed safe to remove doors off-road then it should be safe to do the same on highways,” Masser wrote in a co-sponsorship letter.
While allowing the vehicle to be driven without doors, Masser’s bill would require drivers to notify their insurance company that they planned to do so.
An acknowledgment of notification from the insurance company would be required to be carried in the vehicle when operated without doors.