September 26, 2020
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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officially began full enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program on March 9, following the completion of a 60-day pre-enforcement period mandated by Act 86 of 2018, which established the AWZSE program.

[Above photo by PennDOT.]

“Through the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially through work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis,” said Yassmin Gramian, acting PennDOT secretary, in a statement.

Yassmin Gramian. Photo by PennDOT.

Her agency noted that, in 2018, Pennsylvania experienced 1,804 work zone crashes that resulted in 23 fatalities. Over the last three decades, PennDOT said it has lost 89 workers in the line of duty – many in work zone crashes – while the PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

“While there can be fines assessed, the AWZSE program’s goal is not to generate revenue,” explained Mark Compton, PA Turnpike’s CEO. “The goal is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors. The program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”

Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices.

PennDOT noted that AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present and vehicle owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. Those violations are civil penalties only, the agency stressed; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

editor@aashto.org

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