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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2018 02:53 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Waiving Turnpike Tolls for Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders
I am re-introducing legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to waive tolls for emergency vehicles when either directly responding to an emergency situation or participating in the escort of a fallen firefighter, ambulance service or rescue squad member, law enforcement officer or armed service member killed in the line of duty.

The Turnpike Commission currently does not waive tolls for emergency vehicles unless it has a contract with the specific law enforcement or emergency services entity for police or emergency response services for incidents that occur on the Turnpike. I have heard from fire companies located near the Turnpike but not contracted with the Commission who have specialized or heavy-duty equipment and are routinely called to emergency scenes not on the Turnpike but where the quickest route to them is via it. Those volunteer companies are charged coming and going to the scenes each and every time. Turnpike tolls are also charged to any emergency vehicle escorting the body of a fallen officer or emergency responder killed in the line of duty. Police departments are even assessed tolls for any of their vehicles involved in a pursuit that takes them onto the Turnpike.

My legislation will ensure no toll will be required in this situation or any other in which a police car, fire truck, ambulance, etc. is responding to an emergency, regardless of whether the emergency is taking place on the turnpike or there is a service contract in place.

This legislation was SB 249 of last session and co-sponsors included Senators Rafferty, Scarnati, McGarrigle, Bartolotta, Langerholc, Tartaglione, Killion, Yudichak, Shwank, Folmer, Baker, Costa, Stefano, Hutchinson, Martin, Regan, Tomlinson and Browne.

Introduced as SB45