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Automated speed enforcement bill advances again in Senate

February 1, 2017 by · Comments Off on Automated speed enforcement bill advances again in Senate
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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.

 

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Automated Work Zone Enforcement Advances in the Senate

June 23, 2016 by · 2 Comments
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600600p472EDNmain1155Senate 4Senate Bill 840, sponsored by Senator David Argall (R-Berks), which creates a pilot program for automated camera enforcement in work zones, passed unanimously out of Senate Appropriations Committee last night.

Before passage, the committee adopted two amendments to SB 840: first, Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) introduced an amendment to direct the revenue from tickets to the Motor License Fund; second, Senator Argall made some technical changes to the language. Both amendments were adopted unanimously.

The bill would create a five year, sun-setting pilot program for automated enforcement systems on interstate highways during active work times. The highways must be under the jurisdiction of PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission, and enforcement zones will be noted at least twice before a driver enters the work zone. The bill also mandates that the Secretary of Transportation and the Chairman of the Turnpike Commission post a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin before a new speed enforcement system is operational. Read more

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Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm

January 27, 2016 by · Comments Off on Turnpike, PennDOT Challenged By Storm
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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.”

 

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

January 21, 2016 by · Comments Off on 2016 Road & Bridge Safety Award Program Now Open to PA Boroughs
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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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PennDOT encourages teens to be safer drivers

October 20, 2015 by · Comments Off on PennDOT encourages teens to be safer drivers
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TEENDRIVERPennDOT has launched several initiatives to make teen drivers in Pennsylvania safer to themselves and other motorists.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards kicked off Teen Driver Safety Week to raise awareness about the dangers of young drivers. There were 113,029 crashes involving at least one teen driver in Pennsylvania in the last five years, resulting in 859 fatalities.

“Safely operating a vehicle requires complex evaluations, split-second decisions and intricate maneuvers. Parents are in the best position to evaluate a teen driver’s knowledge, skills and abilities behind the wheel,” said Richards. “Parents setting a positive, safe example for young drivers in their family and continuing to monitor young drivers after they receive their license helps establish a mentality of safety behind the wheel among teen drivers.” Read more

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Senate committee OKs work zone speed camera bill

September 29, 2015 by · Comments Off on Senate committee OKs work zone speed camera bill
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safezone_signThe Senate Transportation Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would allow automated enforcement of speed limits in Pennsylvania’s work zones. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

Senate Bill 840, sponsored by Senators David Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks), would establish a five-year pilot program to test the automated enforcement program in active work zones on Interstate highways managed by either PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission. The owners of cars photographed traveling at least 11 miles per hour above the posted speed limit would receive a $100 citation in the mail.  The bill also requires advanced warning signs to be placed in advance of camera usage to alert motorists that automated enforcement is in operation.

If the measure receives Senate approval, it will then be considered by the House before being sent to the governor for final approval.

 

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Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety

September 9, 2015 by · Comments Off on Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety
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Drivers may begin to see more roundabouts in their Pennsylvania commutes, as studies have concluded that they are safer than traditional intersections.

ROUNDABOUTPHIAOne such study was recently conducted in the Lehigh Valley and found that there are 90 percent fewer fatal accidents in roundabouts than in intersections. They also found a 35 percent reduction in collisions with pedestrians. Unlike some traffic circles with lights, roundabouts are defined by yielding upon entry and operation without traffic signals.

This study was conducted by RK&K, on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study committee. The study recommended 26 roundabouts in the Lehigh Valley.

PennDOT is also increasing the use of roundabouts on state roads, with a handful planned for construction in the next year in District 1.

Since these constructions will be new to many Pennsylvanians, PennDOT is offering advice to motorists encountering a roundabout:

  • Slow down when approaching the roundabout and be prepared to yield to any pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Approach the “Yield” line, look to the left and check for approaching traffic within the roundabout. Circulating traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic. If necessary, stop at the “Yield” line until there is a safe gap in traffic.
  • Upon entering the roundabout, drivers have the right of way and should proceed counterclockwise to their exit point.
  • Drivers approaching their exit should use their right turn signal, watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk and be prepared to yield to pedestrians.

 “According to several studies, roundabouts will make travel safer for both motorists and pedestrians,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Safety has always been a major concern of PHIA, and we encourage motorists to travel carefully through construction sites where roundabouts are being constructed.”

 

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Plan ahead for the visit of Pope Francis

August 11, 2015 by · Comments Off on Plan ahead for the visit of Pope Francis
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For the first time in decades, the Pope will visit the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on September 25.

Anyone planning to travel through or near Philadelphia during his stay may need to take an alternate route. In order to protect Pope Francis during his visit, and ensure safe foot travel in the city, the following roads will be closed through September 27th:

  • I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95 and I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Extension).
  • I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95.
  • S. Route 1 in both directions from U.S. 30 to Belmont Avenue.
  • I-95 will remain open to traffic with only selected ramps closed due to street closures within the city and security needs.

Read more

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Still no widespread speed increase for PA Turnpike, Interstates

July 28, 2015 by · Comments Off on Still no widespread speed increase for PA Turnpike, Interstates
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70-MPH-signLast year, Pennsylvania increased the speed limit to 70 mph on parts of the Turnpike and Interstates 80 and 380 as part of a pilot study, leading many to believe that widespread speed increases were imminent.

However, the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT say they are still studying the impact of the change. So far, they have no definitive conclusion as to whether the increased speed limit is safe or unsafe.PennDOT estimated that the average driver would save approximately 6 minutes per 97 miles on the Turnpike with the speed increase, 5.8 minutes per 88 miles on I-80, and 1.4 minutes per 21 miles on I-380.

Pennsylvania is the 38th state to start moving highway speed limits to 70 mph; West Virginia bumped up its limits back in 1997.

“Whether the maximum speed limit on Pennsylvania highways is 65 or 70 is less important to PHIA than the assurance that the speed is safe on these roads,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “While studies so far have been inconclusive, we believe that PennDOT’s decision will be based on the best and safest use of state highways.”

 

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APC supports automated speed limit enforcement in work zones

July 14, 2015 by · Comments Off on APC supports automated speed limit enforcement in work zones
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safezone_signAPC’s Bob Latham was among numerous parties providing testimony before a joint House/Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday morning regarding a broad range of highway safety issues. Bob’s focus was on Senate Bill 840, a Sen. David Argall-sponsored measure that would authorize automated speed limit enforcement in work zones.

He cited the positive results of a similar program in Maryland in curtailing excessive speeding in work zones and said it would improve the level of safety for the traveling public, as well as construction workers. For a news release summarizing Bob’s testimony, click here.

 

 

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