PHIA News Digest – Vol. 65

March 7, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania’s transportation network remains underfunded
Washington’s recent delivery of a long-term national transportation-funding package was eagerly anticipated — and warmly welcomed — by Pennsylvania, which has a significant backlog of vital transportation needs to address.

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which was signed into law in December, is poised to provide $305 billion in funding to states over five years, helping them build and maintain bridges, transit, rail lines, freight capabilities and ports. Pennsylvania will be among the top five beneficiaries of FAST Act funding, eligible for $8.6 billion over the next five years, $1 billion more than the current level of federal funding.

Switch to license plate readers raises concerns for police departments
Local police chiefs expressed concern about the cost to purchase license plate reader technology and the elimination of the vehicle registration stickers by the state Department of Transportation.

The elimination of the registration stickers by 2017 is part of Act 89, the state’s transportation plan signed by former Gov. Tom Corbett in November 2013.

Roadblocks remain for autonomous cars
Ninety percent of car crashes are preventable.

As it stands, about 30,000 people die in car crashes every year in the United States, said Mark Kopko of PennDOT.

“If you could reduce that by 90 percent, that’s huge.”

Autonomous cars have the capacity to do that.

In Allegheny County, that could mean a vast reduction in the roughly 12,000 crashes in 2014 — especially of those attributed to driver error, like drunk or distracted driving and speeding.


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