Harrisburg, PA-- The Wolf Administration, PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Association of Pennsylvania Constructors are promoting Work Zone Safety Awareness Week – which runs through April 7 and honoring lives lost – by hosting PennDOT’s statewide Workers’ Memorial in Harrisburg. Kickoff was Monday.
Preliminary PennDOT data shows that 16 people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2016, seven fewer than in 2015. Additionally, there were 2,075 crashes in work zones last year, an increase from 1,935 crashes in 2015. Over the last five years, there was an average of 1,872 crashes and more than 20 fatalities in work zones.
In addition to crash data from police reports, PennDOT monitors work-zone safety with internal reports. In 2016, there were 102 intrusions in PennDOT work zones. Of those work-zone intrusions, 16 resulted in injuries to PennDOT employees, 39 caused damage to PennDOT fleet or equipment, and 55 did not result in injury or damage but had the potential to do so.
As of March 27 this year, there have been nine work-zone intrusions, with zero resulting in employee injury, four causing damage to vehicles or equipment and five causing no damage or injuries.
Over the years, more than 30 PA Turnpike workers have died on the job, and many of these tragedies were caused by driver mistakes like speeding or distraction.
Pennsylvania law states anyone violating the posted speed limit by more than 5 mph will face doubled fines. The fine is determined based on the amount the driver is traveling over the speed limit. Governor Wolf signed a law in 2016, that says any driver who causes serious bodily injury within a work zone could face up to $5,000 in fines and a six-month license suspension. A driver causing a death within a work zone would face up to a $10,000 fine and one-year license suspension.
In addition, drivers who don’t turn on their headlights in posted work zones face a $25 fine.
Since 1970, 87 PennDOT employees have died in the line of duty. For more information on work zone safety visit, penndot.gov/safety. Join the discussion on social media by using #Slow4Zone and #NWZAW.