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Friday, April 26, 2019

PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police Urge Caution When Traveling Through Work Zones

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) held a media event today urging motorists to exercise caution and avoid aggressive driving behaviors when traveling through work zones.

At the event, PennDOT and PSP representatives discussed the six-week aggressive driving enforcement wave that concludes Sunday, April 28. During the wave, which focused on work zone safety, speeding, distracted driving and school bus enforcement, PSP and 213 municipal police departments worked to reduce the number of aggressive driving related crashes, injuries and fatalities on Pennsylvania highways.

Participants also discussed the recently enacted automated speed enforcement in work zones law. Under the law, speed cameras will be installed in active work zones on interstates and federal aid highways such as Route 322. Drivers traveling more than 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in these work zones are now subject to a written warning for the first offense, a $75 fine for the second and a $150 fine for the third.

The PennDOT Workers’ Memorial, which honors the 89 PennDOT employees killed in the line of duty since 1970, was on display. The memorial was created by Bradford County maintenance crews in 1996 following the of death Leah Rumsey, a co-worker who was struck and killed by a motorist while flagging in a work zone.

Tragically, two stands were added to the memorial in 2018. On February 17, 2018, Robert Gensimore, a foreman in Blair County, was struck and killed by a motorist on I-99 while setting up flares to warn motorists of a separate crash. Gensimore was a captain at his local volunteer fire company and left behind a wife and two children.

On August 30, 2018, Bryan Chamberlain, an equipment operator in Blair County, suffered fatal injuries after becoming trapped beneath a piece of heavy equipment during a shoulder widening operation. Chamberlain enjoyed hunting and fishing and left behind a wife.

“We put our lives on the line every day to make sure Pennsylvania’s roads are safe,” said Bryan Baker, an equipment operator for PennDOT in Juniata County who spoke at the event. “We have families that we want to get home to safely and too many of us don’t make it. Think about that the next time you’re frustrated about the few extra minutes it takes to get through a work zone.”

Paulie the PennDOT robot, created by Abigail Taylor for a school assignment, was also on display. Abigail’s father, John Taylor, is a PennDOT foreman in Tioga County, and she created Paulie to educate others about work zone safety.

According to PennDOT 2017 data, there were 1,789 work zone crashes resulting in 19 fatalities and 1,114 injuries last year.

For more information on work zone safety, visit PennDOT.gov/Safety.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

After the warning, increase the fines, and start adding points to their licences, maybe that will wake up the dolts who don't seem to realise that someone's life is more important that being in a hurry!