News

Automated speed enforcement bill advances again in Senate

February 1, 2017 by · Comments Off on Automated speed enforcement bill advances again in Senate
Filed under: News 

safezone_signBecause of PHIA’s focus on highway safety, it probably comes as no surprise that the organization supports automated speed enforcement in work zones using cameras. The Senate Transportation Committee considered such a measure last year but was not able to advance it to a floor vote in the waning days of the legislative session.

The committee once again advanced a very similar measure in its first week of the new session, and it is positioned again to move toward a vote of the full Senate and advance to the House.

The experience that Maryland has had after enacting a similar measure makes it very clear that automated enforcement works. Once Maryland drivers became aware that exceeding the work zone speed limit by at least 11 miles per hour could result in a ticket for the vehicle owner, violations dropped from seven cars per 100 to fewer than one per 100.

“There’s some disagreement among lawmakers as to whether the revenue from automated speeding fines should go toward highway use or be used to support the State Police,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “Neither PHIA nor the construction industry has a position on where the money should go. For us, the safety of people in work zones is the most important consideration.”

An article about the Senate bill can be found at this link. E-motion will provide updates on this measure as it advances.

 

News

Corman pitches pension reform at PHIA breakfast

May 7, 2015 by · Comments Off on Corman pitches pension reform at PHIA breakfast
Filed under: News 

IMG_1995The additional resources needed to support Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget will not be forthcoming without first addressing the state’s pension issue, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) told several dozen attendees at a breakfast hosted by the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association.

Corman, a longtime supporter of ample transportation funding, lauded the safety improvements to highways made possible by the passage of Act 89 in 2013. His constituents and all Pennsylvanians will see the benefits as the funding increases move ahead.

But he emphasized that neither the highway industry nor any other group receiving resources from the state can escape the impact of the increased pension obligation. Pensions are one of the largest cost-drivers of the entire state budget, and the pension system must be modernized to shift the risk away from taxpayers and to free up resources for other programs and services.

Corman informed the group that his caucus is working on a solution that could bring savings to the state by enrolling new state hires in a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan. Continuing to devote increasing resources to the pension deficit without reform is unacceptable, he said.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed will be the next breakfast series guest on June 17. The series is sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies, Burns Engineering and PennStress.

 

News, Video

Automated speed enforcement in work zones will save lives

February 4, 2015 by · Comments Off on Automated speed enforcement in work zones will save lives
Filed under: News, Video 

Having taken a major step toward addressing Pennsylvania’s bridge and highway funding needs with the passage of Act 89, PHIA and the construction industry are turning their attention toward work zone safety.

The industry is lining up behind legislation that will provide for camera enforcement of speed limits in work zones. Five years of experience with such a system in Maryland proves that this approach is exceptionally effective.

It’s not just about construction workers. In four out of five work zone crashes, it’s motorists and passengers who are injured or killed, not construction workers.

In Maryland, the number of work zone speeding violations has dropped dramatically since the program began. Click below to view a short video, and check back at www.PaHighwayInfo.org for periodic updates.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/117849757[/vimeo]

 

News

APC to seek work zone safety solution

October 10, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

It probably comes as no surprise that speeding through work zones is the top safety concern among highway construction workers.

WZCAMERAAdd to that the increased speed limits on the Turnpike and on sections of some Interstate Highways, along with the increasing number of work zones as PennDOT’s Decade of Investment advances following passage of the transportation funding act, and it becomes clear why the issue has climbed to the top of the industry’s list of priorities.

In August, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors Safety Committee recommended that APC lead a legislative initiative to allow the use of cameras to enforce speed limits in work zones.

In Maryland, which implemented a camera enforcement program in 2009, speeding in work zones has decreased significantly. Signage announces that speeding through work zones will result in fines, cameras photograph the license plates of vehicles that fail to comply, and vehicle owners receive a citation by mail.

Given the Maryland experience and the universal desire to protect highway construction workers, APC is hopeful that the legislation will receive strong support near the beginning of the next legislative session. Except for a few procedural matters, the current session effectively ends next week.

“Maryland’s experience shows that not only is camera enforcement effective, it’s very cost-effective since it provides protection around the clock without requiring the time and attention of State Police personnel,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “We hope that legislators will embrace the idea strongly and quickly next year.”

 

News

Rafferty Unveils Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan

April 16, 2013 by · Comments Off on Rafferty Unveils Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan
Filed under: News 

Below is a copy of the press release issued by Senator Rafferty’s Office:

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-44) today was joined by Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch and the three other chairmen of the Senate and House Transportation Committees to unveil his comprehensive proposal to fund Pennsylvania’s transportation needs.

senatorraffertyRafferty said the funding proposal, “The Bridge to Pennsylvania’s Future,” will increase Pennsylvania’s annual transportation investment by $2.5 billion.  It follows the major recommendations made by the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

“Pennsylvania is at a crossroads and we must take action now,” Rafferty said.  “Our roads and bridges continue to crumble, our mass transit systems lack the funds needed to meet continued demand, and our railways, airports and ports struggle to be economic generators for the 21st Century.  We simply cannot continue to ignore these pressing needs, which are directly related to public safety and economic development.” Read more

News

Anti-texting law goes into effect

March 6, 2012 by · Comments Off on Anti-texting law goes into effect
Filed under: News 

PHIA has been serving highway users for over 50 years.  Therefore, we feel it’s important to pass along this important information affecting all drivers.

Pennsylvania’s NEW anti-texting law goes into effect Thursday, March 8.  Of nearly 14,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Pennsylvania in 2010, one in eight involved a driver using a hand-held phone.

Violators of the new law could face a $50 fine.  For a fact sheet that summarizes the new law, click here.

 

News, Video

Transportation funding goes bipartisan, bicameral

January 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Transportation funding goes bipartisan, bicameral
Filed under: News, Video 

Support for a transportation funding solution broadened considerably this week as three leaders of Pennsylvania’s House Democratic caucus introduced legislation that mirrors the bills introduced last fall by a Senate Republican. The House and Senate versions are both patterned after the recommendations of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

State Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton), the minority whip, described the initiative as “extending an olive branch” to Republicans and Governor Corbett, signaling bipartisan support for a major policy issue at a time when school vouchers, privatization of state liquor stores and a Marcellus Shale drilling fee have languished in partisan disagreement.

At a Capitol news conference, several reporters expressed skepticism that legislators could muster the political will to address the problem in an election year. However, recent public opinion polls show that a majority of voters believe transportation funding is the most important issue currently facing Pennsylvania, and the TFAC’s proposed solution might actually save a typical motorist more than it costs in wasted gasoline and vehicle maintenance.

To view an excerpt of the news conference, click below:  [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDh8sOYLOwE&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

To see Associated Pennsylvania Constructors’ response, click here.