Pennsylvania work zones just became safer for drivers and workers, thanks to a new law signed by Governor Tom Wolf last month. Targeted at reducing speeding in work zone areas, the recently passed Automated Speed Enforcement bill allows select state agencies to use radar and other recording equipment to monitor the speed of vehicles traveling in work zones.
Dangers of Work Zones
Work zones remain a high-risk area for traffic accidents and fatalities. Workers within designated work zones and drivers operating their vehicles in these areas face an increased possibility of being injured in an accident. Speeding is the main cause of approximately 40 percent of work zone accidents.
In order to bring public awareness to the problem of speeding in work zones, the new Automated Speed Enforcement bill has created a five-year pilot work zone safety program. The pilot program is centered on the installation of radar and camera equipment.
Installation of Radar and Camera Equipment
Under the new work zone safety program, both the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) have been authorized to install radar and LIDAR (Light Detection and Radar) camera equipment in construction and maintenance zones selected by the agencies. Each area equipped with the speed cameras will be marked by a special sign, advising drivers in advance that they may be photographed for speeding in these areas.
Vehicles traveling 11 miles per hour over the work zone speed limit while workers are present will have their license plates photographed for purposes of obtaining identifying information. The Pennsylvania State Police will review the photographs of speeding vehicles and issue warnings or fines for speeding violations.
Penalties for Speeding
Owners of vehicles traveling 11 miles per hour over the work zone speed limit will receive a warning for their initial offense. Citations will be mailed to the vehicle’s owner, regardless of whether the owner was the actual person operating the vehicle.
A second speeding violation in the work zone will result in a $75 fine, and a third violation will result in a $150 fine. Currently there is no provision for adding points to a driver’s driving record under the program.
During the initial three years of the program, the fines will cover the costs of the work zone safety program and be used to further educate the public on the importance of work zone and traffic safety. Some of the collected fines also will be used to recruit and train individuals to monitor work zones, and to bolster the presence of state troopers in work zones.
PennDot and PTC will be implementing the program in 2019. Both state agencies have requested proposals from software and system management vendors for the installation of the speed cameras and recording equipment.
Pennsylvania work zone safety advocates hope to replicate a similar speed camera program instituted by the Maryland State Highway Administration, which reduced speeding in work zones by 85 percent.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Assist Victims of Work Zone Accidents
With offices conveniently located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, the experienced Media personal injury lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. serve car accident victims throughout the Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County areas. Call today to schedule an initial consultation at 610-565-3701 or contact us online.