Harrisburg – Pennsylvanians will see $2.1 billion worth of highway and bridge improvements this year, $600 million more than originally anticipated due to the state’s new transportation plan, and representatives from PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police today reminded motorists to drive carefully through the hundreds of work zones they’ll encounter this construction season.
Officials gathered at a Harrisburg-area PennDOT maintenance facility in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 7 through April 11.
“We are asking drivers to use extra caution in work zones so all of us can get home safely,” said PennDOT Executive Deputy Secretary Brad Mallory. “With crews working right next to moving traffic, it’s especially dangerous and especially important that motorists obey signs and speed limits.”
According to PennDOT data, in 2013, there were more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones, an increase from the more than 1,600 work-zone crashes in 2012. Sixteen people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2013, five fewer than in 2012.
PennDOT reminds all drivers to pay close attention to flaggers and signs. Motorists should maintain a safe distance around vehicles and use four-way flashers when stopped or traveling slowly. Drivers are also reminded to turn on their headlights in posted work zones and those who don’t face a $25 fine.
Pennsylvania law also states that motorists caught driving 11 mph or more above the posted speed limit in active work zones automatically will lose their license for 15 days.
“The bottom line is that everyone deserves to make it home safely at the end of the day,” Mallory said. “Please remember that there are dads, moms, sons and daughters working hard in construction work zones, and I urge all drivers to remember that human component the next time they think about speeding or driving carelessly in a work zone.”