Geist named PHIA Advocate of the Year

April 27, 2011

Rick Geist, an Altoona Republican and chair of the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee, was honored as PHIA Advocate of the Year at the organization’s annual meeting.

The award is presented to individuals who have gone “above the call of duty” in pursuit of a better highway system.  Previous awards have gone to industry advocates from both the public and private sectors. 

Geist is one of the senior statesmen of the Pennsylvania House.  Now in his 17th consecutive two-year term, he has moved to the top of the seniority list among House Republicans.  He has served as Republican chair of the Transportation Committee for the last 16 years, which is half of his tenure in the General Assembly.  He’s the longest-serving majority chair of that committee in House history. Read more


Work Zone Awareness Week

April 4, 2011

PennDOT Secretary-designate Barry Schoch kicked off Work Zone Awareness Week on Monday, noting that 22 people were killed in work zones in 2010, a year in which there were more work-zone crashes than any of the last five years.

“Highway work zones are among the most dangerous places to work, with workers putting their lives at risk each time they fix a roadway or repair a gas, electric or water line,” said Schoch, formerly PHIA’s president. “These workers are trying to perform difficult jobs while tons of steel race past them. Always use caution in work zones and never drive distracted. Your life and the lives of highway workers and other motorists are at stake.”

According to PennDOT data, the 22 people killed in work zones last year included three PennDOT employees and one contractor. Three of those worker deaths were caused by a vehicle entering the work zone. Since 1970, 82 PennDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty.

In 2010, there were 1,884 crashes in work zones, a dramatic increase from the 1,519 crashes in 2009. Over the five-year period, there were 8,302 work-zone crashes and 114 fatalities.