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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 8, 2015 11:52 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa and Sen. Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Highway Worker and Emergency Personnel Safety
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that would amend Title 75 (Pennsylvania Vehicle Code) to further protect highway workers, first emergency responders and others from careless and reckless drivers traveling in work zones.

Every year, motorists and highway workers are injured or killed in work zones across the country. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), eighty-five employees have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1970 and additional serious injuries continue to be on the rise.

Just this past weekend four construction workers working along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Bucks County were injured in a vehicle accident. One of these workers was flown to Temple University hospital for emergency surgery. This was in addition to an accident that occurred on the Turnpike earlier in the week in Bedford county, which injured another construction worker. Both of these incidents occurred in construction zones and were the result of speeding and reckless driving. The goal of this legislation is to encourage driver's to change their behavior and to get people to slow down in construction zones.

Our legislation would establish a three-tier approach similar to a statute in the state of Connecticut. Endangerment of a highway worker would call for a fine of $1,000 and aggravated endangerment of a highway worker would call for a fine of up to $5,000 and six-month license suspension. A $10,000 fine would be imposed for the death of highway workers, as well as a one-year license suspension.

This legislation would also broaden the scope of “highway workers” to include emergency personnel, local government and municipal workers, members of the Pennsylvania State Police and law enforcement community, and contractors or utility company workers.

Please join us by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB887