PennDOT, State Police & PHIA Observe State Highway Safety Law Awareness Week

February 23, 2016

This week is Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Law Awareness Week, and PHIA joins PennDOT and State Police in encouraging motorists to pay special attention to the laws of the road.

State Police and PennDOT highlighted the following list of oft-ignored laws:

  • The “4-Foot Bicycle Law” requires drivers to pass a bicycle at a distance of “not less than four feet” at a careful and prudent speed. The law also permits drivers to cross the center line during this process if safely able to do so.
  • No turn by a driver should interfere with a bicycle proceeding straight.
  • Driving around or through traffic control devices closing a road or highway could result in a $250 fine and two points on a driving record.
  • The “Teen Seat Belt Law” requires drivers and passengers younger than 18 to wear a seat belt anywhere in the vehicle. Also, drivers under 18 may not operate a vehicle where the number of passengers exceeds the number of available seat belts.
  • “Increased fines in work zones” signage urges motorists to be aware when passing through work zones. Violating the posted speed limit by more than five miles per hour could result in doubled fines. The fine is based on how far over the speed limit the vehicle was traveling.
  • A recent amendment to the work zone law also states that any driver who causes serious bodily injury within a work zone is subject to $5,000 in fines and a six-month license suspension. A driver causing a death within a work zone could face a $10,000 fine and one-year license suspension.

“Highway safety is one of the biggest priorities of the highway industry,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Unfortunately, drivers are sometimes unaware of laws or ignore them. This week serves as a positive reminder for these rules.”



Highway Community Mourns Former PA Highway Secretary and PHIA President Bartlett

February 11, 2016

BartlettFormer Pennsylvania Highway Secretary Robert G. Bartlett, who led the Pennsylvania Highway Department under Governors Scranton and Shafer and was PHIA president from 1980 to 1986, passed away last week.

Bob was born in 1931 and graduated in 1953 from West Point with a BS in engineering. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea and had various postings in the U.S. until retiring from active duty as a captain in 1957.

He then worked as an engineer and labor relations specialist with Bethlehem Steel, and became Secretary of Highways while Pennsylvania was building the Interstate System. He served as PHIA president while he was executive vice president of L.B. Smith Inc. in Camp Hill.  He also received PHIA’s highest honor–The Transportation Advocate of the Year Award–in 1986.

“Secretary Bartlett was a terrific advocate for the highway industry in Pennsylvania, and our highway department was recognized as a national model under his leadership,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.”



PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

February 9, 2016

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with revenue from the state’s Motor License Fund.

VanBurenHearingPSPJames Van Buren, who also is president of PennStress, a precast concrete supplier, told the House Transportation Committee that an increasing amount of revenue intended for transportation system improvements has been diverted from the Motor License Fund to support the State Police and now totals $755 million, nearly two-thirds of the entire State Police budget.

Van Buren noted that under the Pennsylvania Constitution, revenue from the Motor License Fund may be used only for highway purposes. While that includes patrolling the highways, he said the amounts being diverted are far greater than the level of resources the agency devotes to highway patrols.

Click HERE to read more of the press release on the hearing.



Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm

January 27, 2016

snow-jonasRecord-setting Blizzard Jonas proved to be a tough test for Pennsylvania’s snow removal efforts. Hundreds of motorists were trapped on the PA Turnpike as up to three feet of snow accumulated in the mid-state. According to some news accounts, the Turnpike blockage occurred when two westbound tractor trailers collided near the Allegheny tunnels.

Throughout the snow removal process, which will continue through this week in many municipalities, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards and Gov. Tom Wolf visited with PennDOT crews and monitored progress. The governor has described PennDOT’s performance as “nearly perfect.”

“PHIA supports any effort to make Pennsylvania’s highways safer, but would also like to applaud the efforts of PennDOT, the National Guard and the Turnpike Commission who worked tirelessly to make sure motorists were kept safe and evacuated as quickly as possible,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We caution motorists to stay safe for the rest of the week as their local roads are cleared.”



2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs

January 21, 2016

PSAB_borough_seal_outlinesEach year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 34th straight year, the program is now open for members of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).  The same award program for PA’s townships opened last month and will open later in the year for PA’s counties.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2015.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information and to download the entry brochures.


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