General Assembly nears introduction of work zone safety legislation

June 2, 2015

Orange construction lightThis week, the General Assembly is set to introduce legislation aimed at improving driver and worker safety in construction zones.

The bill would authorize automated speed enforcement in work zones on limited access state highways. Cameras would photograph license plates of vehicles that significantly exceed speed limits, and the vehicle owner would receive a violation notice. Areas of automated enforcement would be clearly marked.

In work zones, space restrictions make it difficult for police officers to monitor and enforce excessive speeding. In the last five years, there have been 10,586 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones, costing 128 lives. In 2013 alone, there were 1,800 crashes and 16 deaths.

Maryland’s automated enforcement program has proven to be successful. In its first two-and-a-half years, that state saw a reduction from about 7 percent to about 1 percent of drivers significantly exceeding the speed limit in work zones.

“While the industry certainly is concerned with worker safety, this initiative would have much a much broader positive effect,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “According to the Federal Highway Administration, 85 percent of the victims of work zone fatalities are drivers or passengers, not highway workers.”


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