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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 9, 2018 02:40 PM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. and Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Work Zone Awareness Week (April 9-13, 2018)
In the near future, we intend to introduce a resolution designating the week of April 9-13, 2018, in Pennsylvania as “Work Zone Awareness Week”, which is recognized across the United States to educate drivers on highway worker safety in work zones.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there were 4,400 fatalities and 200,000 injuries in work zone crashes during the past five years. Drivers are also considered to be the most frequent fatality in work zone crashes, and the most common type of work zone crashes are rear-end crashes (running into the rear of a slowing or stopping vehicle).

In Pennsylvania, drivers can anticipate traveling through a variety of work zones, particularly in warmer weather, when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (Turnpike), local governments, and industry partners improve and maintain our interconnected, interdependent transportation system.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has witnessed too many lives lost and people severely injured that also places a significant burden on our highway workers’ families. The sobering statistics, as follows, need to remind us to drive the posted speed limit, to avoid distractions, to stay alert, etc.: 1) Between 2012-16, there were over 100 fatalities and 9,300 crashes in Pennsylvania’s work zones, 2) 88 PennDOT workers have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1970, and 3) 41 Turnpike workers have died while performing their duties.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has taken action in the past to reinforce our commitment to work zone safety such as requiring headlights to be turned on in all posted work zones, imposing a 15-day loss of a person’s operating privilege for driving dangerously in work zones, and increasing fines and jail time for work zone violations. To that end, we encourage our colleagues to be supportive of new measures, pending legislative action, including speed cameras in work zones (Senate Bill 172) and the doubling of fines for distracted driver violations in work zones (Senate Bill 1024).

Please join us in supporting this resolution to help advance driver education on the dangers of disobeying traffic laws in work zones and to improve traffic safety throughout the Commonwealth’s transportation system.

If you have any questions, please contact Nolan Ritchie, Senator Rafferty’s Office, at nritchie@pasen.gov or Jason Gerard, Senator Sabatina’s Office, at jgerard@pasenate.com.

Resources to promote work zone awareness and education include, but not limited to:

Introduced as SR297