Pennsylvania announced earlier this year that it would employ turnpike speed cameras in work zones in a continued effort, along with the state’s “Go Orange PA” program, to better protect workers and drivers alike.
The cameras will track the car by registration. A first speed offense in a work zone results in a warning. The second offense is a $75 fine. The third time that the turnpike speed camera catching you sailing through a work zone, you get hit with a $150 fine. The simple solution is to just SLOW DOWN.
The need for solutions to work zone crashes is clear. Many work zones have no shoulder area. Some have lane shifts or changes in visibility. And of course. the explosion in popularity of cell phones and texting has only increased distracted driving, even through work zones. In 2018 43% of these crashes resulted in fatalities. The hope is that the new turnpike speed cameras will help stop more preventable deaths.
When a car v. car collision occurs, usually both drivers have some protection. The vehicles themselves provide some safety due to the frames. Then the airbags, seat belts, and other safety features help to minimize injuries. However, a flagger or worker in a construction zone on the highway is in the same position as a pedestrian. They often have no barrier between themselves and the car. Being struck by a car, especially at a high rate of speed can be very damaging.
These accidents are 100% avoidable if we all pay attention, slow down, and keep our eyes on the road while in a work zone. The fines are a good incentive to keep behavior safe, but saving a life is the most important goal.