HARRISBURG – The House Transportation Committee amended and unanimously approved a joint legislative proposal introduced by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) yesterday which seeks to protect construction workers and improve driver safety in active work zones.
“The main goal of this initiative is to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that have occurred on our highways due to careless driving and speeding,” stated Argall. “With the increased investments we have made in our roads and bridges, it is imperative that we ensure the safety of workers and drivers alike.”
Senate Bill 172, as amended by the Committee, would provide for a five-year trial period for PennDOT to place speed cameras in active work zones on interstate highways and PA federal aid highways in order to determine if the added fine would make drivers reduce speeding in work zone areas.
The amended version of the bill also includes the establishment of a pilot program on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia – an area that has seen a significant number of accidents and fatalities, according to the amendment’s prime sponsor, Representative John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), who represents the area and chairs the House Transportation Committee.
“This legislation is about construction workers and people who drive through work zones regularly,” Schwank said. “There have been too many serious or deadly accidents on Pennsylvania’s highways and the turnpike. It’s about time we do something about it.”
According to data from PennDOT, in 2016 there were 2,075 crashes and 16 fatalities that occurred within work zones. Reports from the previous year indicated there were 1,935 crashes in work zones, including 23 deaths, across Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 172 will now move to the full House for consideration.