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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: June 17, 2013 10:38 AM
From: Senator Richard L. Alloway, II
To: All Senate members
Subject: Lights and Sirens for Turnpike First Responder and Safety Vehicles
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 75, Section 102 (definitions) to allow the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to equip the First Responder and Safety Vehicles with audible and visual warning devices (red lights and siren). This request is based on the safety of turnpike employees, responders, and customers.

Turnpike responders and personnel function as the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's "Fire Police," controlling traffic at incidents on our roadway, providing backlog protection, and early warning functions. The fast, visible response will assist in controlling incidents. The use of red warning lights, as opposed to amber, will promote a higher level of respect and driver response during incidents in the Turnpike system.

The vehicles used by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's Emergency Response Program are operated by employees from the Safety and Maintenance Departments. These employees respond to roadway incidents, hazardous material spills, medical emergencies, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Emergency Management, Homeland Security related incidents, and other emergencies along the roadway which are related to the Pennsylvania turnpike Commission Operations. These emergencies occur on a daily basis. The red lights and audible warning devices on the emergency response vehicles will be used to protect the public health and safety of our employees, customers, and environment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All of these vehicles are marked Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission vehicles and are assigned and or stationed at maintenance sheds along the system. The safety vehicles are assigned to designated personnel.

If approval and support are granted, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will institute a training program for
all operators of these vehicles. The program would include the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy 16-hour Emergency Vehicle Drivers Training Course (EVDT) along with an additional 2-hour Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission specific guidelines and operational roles and responsibilities.

Introduced as SB1069