Construction workers smooth out colored concrete

© Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

New PA Law Encourages Road Work Safety

October 22, 2018 - 3:51 pm

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Today marked a significant win for Work Zone safety. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the Automated Speed Enforcement bill on Monday to prevent accidents and deaths in Pennsylvania work zones. 

With Work Zone crashes on the rise, 40% of which are caused by speeding, this law aims to bring awareness to workers' safety and as well as drivers' safety. 

The bill allows Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) to equip construction and maintenance zones of their choosing with radar and LIDAR cameras. The cameras will take pictures of licenses plates on vehicles driving 11 mph over the speed limit in a work zone where workers are present. 

If a car is going above the 11 mph, the photos will be reviewed by a representative of the Pennsylvania State Police. The owner of the vehicle will receive a warning notice if the the vehicle was speeding. Second violations will result in a $75 fine, and the  third will be a $150 fine. 

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For the first three years of the five-year pilot program, fines will go towards cost of the program but also investing in "work zone safety, traffic safety, and educating the public." Fines will also be put towards "recruiting, training, and equipping cadets" that will be present at work zones, as well as adding more state troopers to work areas.

“Crashes, injuries, and deaths that occur because of speeding are completely preventable, and this law is a major step in enhancing safety in Pennsylvania’s work zones,” Governor Wolf said. “We always urge people to drive safely, and this is especially critical for those working within and driving through work zones" 

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards echoed Governor Wolf's statements. “I am thrilled that the Legislature and Governor have taken this step that aims to save the lives of our employees, motorists, and our partners in the contracting community...We have seen some speeds in work zones that are simply unacceptable, and we are confident that this tool will drive down speeding violations.”

The PennDOT and PTC program will begin in 120 days. For more information, including how this law will effect Philadelphia roads, visit the "Work Zone" traffic safety and driver page on  www.penndot.gov/safety 

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