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Senate Bill 172 Addresses Highway Construction Worker Safety

Metzger Wickersham
Senate Bill 172 Addresses Highway Construction Worker Safety

With warm weather underway, Pennsylvania roads and highways are seeing an increase in construction crews and work zones. In order to help make it safer for construction workers to do their jobs, state lawmakers introduced legislation, referred to as Senate Bill 172, which would establish a five-year pilot program of installing speed detection cameras in work zones on Pennsylvania highways, including the turnpike.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission found that speeding was the leading contributing factor to work zone crashes on the turnpike between 2011 and 2015. Since 1970, 86 PennDOT employees have been killed in work zones, and over 30 turnpike employees have lost their lives in work zone accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were over 700 fatalities in work zone accidents nationwide in 2015.

Currently, Pennsylvania does not have a program in place permitting the use of speed detection cameras. The proposed legislation would require at least two warning signs about the speed detection cameras to be posted before the work zone. Drivers who exceed the work zone speed limit by at least 11 mph would be fined $100. No points would be assigned.

The Senate Bill, which had died at the end of the previous session, was reintroduced in January of 2017 and was passed with unanimous consent after being referred to the Transportation Committee. Currently, the Bill is tabled in the Senate awaiting further action.

SB 172 can be tracked via the General Assembly website here.