WORK-ZONE SAFETY: Pennsylvania to reduce work-zone accidents with speed-detection cameras

Jan. 26, 2017

Legislation to test speed detection cameras in highway work zones passed the state's Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday

Pennsylvania lawmakers are contemplating a bill that would encourage drivers to apply the brakes when entering active work zones.

The state’s Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would establish a five-year pilot program of installing speed-detection cameras in work zones on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission highways.

Maryland implemented this photo radar program and it saw the number of drivers exceeding the speed limit in work zones drop from 7% to 1%, according to a 2012 report issued by the Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which supports the bill along with a myriad of other agencies and organizations, found that speeding was the leading contributing factor to work-zone crashes on the toll road between 2011 and 2015.

The legislation would require at least two warning signs about the automated speed enforcement system to be posted before the work zone. Drivers who exceed the work-zone speed limit by at least 11 mph would be fined $100.

Funding raised from the fines would be divided between the state police and PennDOT. Both PennDOT and the turnpike commission would be required to submit an annual report on work-zone crashes and speed-related data.