TRAFFIC SAFETY: Traffic deaths at all-time low in Pennsylvania last year

April 18, 2017

PennDOT investments in safety enhancements may have helped to decrease the number of traffic fatalities in 2016

There were 1,188 traffic deaths recorded across Pennsylvania last year, an all-time low since record keeping began in 1928.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Monday there were significant decreases in fatalities from drunken driving, as well as “run-off the road” and “hit fixed object” accidents. Specifically, there were 263 fatalities last year attributed to drunk driving, down from 306 in 2015.

However, there were increases in fatal accidents that occurred at intersections, while pedestrian deaths also increased. According to PennDOT, there were 172 pedestrian deaths last year, compared to 153 in 2015.

The fatality numbers were released only several weeks after PennDOT published its 2017 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which was developed with the goal of working toward zero deaths on roadways across Pennsylvania. That plan is also committed to changing driver behavior to eliminate distractions that can cause accidents.

In a news release, PennDOT said it has invested more than $376 million on 434 projects in the last four years to make roadways safer. The agency has spent another $50 million for safety enhancements like the installation of rumble strips, signage improvements and more visible pavement markings.

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