Pennsylvania Launches Strict Work Zone Safety LawsAuthor/Presenter: Smith, Sandy
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation Allen D. Biehler, P.E., marked the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week by outlining a number of new work zone safety laws that will be implemented on June 23. PENNDOT Act 229 of 2002, which toughens work zone laws in Pennsylvania, was signed into law last December. Beginning June 23, Act 229 calls for a 15-day driver’s license suspension for motorists who are caught speeding 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in an active work zone. Additionally, there will be zero tolerance for speeding in an active work zone. A motorist can now be cited for traveling even one mile per hour over the posted speed limit in an active work zone. Also, fines and points are doubled in all active work zones. Another provision of Act 229 is already in effect. Effective Feb. 21, motorists are required to turn on their headlights when driving through certain work zones where signs are in place telling them to do so. Failure to comply carries a fine of $25. This secondary law can be enforced when individuals are stopped for primary moving violations. As an additional deterrent to reckless driving in work zones, Act 229 also allows for courts to tack on an additional five-year jail sentence if a motorists is convicted of homicide by vehicle while traveling in an active work zone. Highway contractors are also now required to install speed-monitoring signs on all Interstate work zones with a project cost of $300,000 or higher.