Google Screened

Automated Speed Enforcement Implemented in Pennsylvania Work Zones

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike recently announced a new program aimed at reducing the number of accidents in road construction zones. They will be stationing vehicles at specific sites to monitor passing motorists and issuing warnings and fines to drivers who exceed the speed limit by more than 11 miles per hour.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement pilot program will run for 60 days during which time speed monitoring vehicles will be stationed on roads with active work crews. Areas of deployment will be listed on a special website and each monitoring zone will be marked with two four-foot square signs to alert motorists that they are entering an area where their speeds are being checked.

Deadly Statistics

Work zones are dangerous places. In 2018, 23 people died as the result of the 2,804 accidents in Pennsylvania work zones and many more were injured. Over the last five decades, there were 89 fatalities due to traffic accidents in work zones. The program is being run by the Australian company, Redflex Traffic Systems. They station white Jeep Cherokee SUVs equipped with both Doppler radar and the same speed monitoring equipment used by state police at work zones with active crews. If both systems agree that a driver was traveling more than 11 miles an hour over the speed limit, a warning will be sent by mail. A second offense warrants a $75 fine with every subsequent offense costing $150. No points will be added to the driver’s license for this type of speeding violation.

Process of Issuing Tickets

State police review all the collected information before issuing warnings and tickets. By law, tickets must be issued within 30 days of the incident and drivers have 30 days to challenge or pay a ticket. There are only three ways to contest a ticket:

  • The vehicle ticketed was reported stolen at the time of the incident
  • The person ticketed did not own the vehicle at the time of the incident
  • The monitoring equipment was not properly calibrated

Proven Success

A similar program has already been implemented in Maryland where during pretesting, the number of drivers speeding through work zones was about 10 percent. However, within a few months, the numbers dropped significantly. PennDOT officials stress that their aim is not to catch drivers unaware, rather they want the public to know where the monitoring zones are and slow down for the safety of the construction workers.

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