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PennDOT, PA Turnpike Announce The Start Of Work Zone Speed Safety Camera Program

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PA Turnpike), in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), started enforcement of the statewide Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program.

Previously referred to as Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement, the initial five-year pilot program was made permanent when Governor Josh Shapiro signed House Bill 1284 into law on December 14, 2023. Act 38 of 2023 reaffirmed Shapiro’s commitment to public safety and built on his promise to ensure every Pennsylvanian feels safe in their community, including on the roadways.

Over the course of the five years of the pilot program’s operation, there was a 38% reduction in speeding in work zones (1 mph or more over the speed limit), a 47% reduction in excessive speeding in work zones (11 mph or more over the speed limit), and work zone crashes declined by up to 50% when a speed enforcement vehicle was present.

“The Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program is about making work zones safer for both workers and motorists by reducing speeds and changing driver behavior,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Data from the pilot program shows it was successful, and we’re pleased that it’s now a permanent program in Pennsylvania.”

The legislation made several adjustments, effective Feb. 15, 2024, including a new 15-day warning period beginning on the mail date of the first violation. If a driver is caught speeding through a work zone by Work Zone Speed Safety Cameras, they will not receive a second violation until 15 days after the mail date of their first violation. This allows time for the warning to be delivered to the motorist to ensure they are aware of the program and change their driving behavior. Once the 15-day warning period has ended, multiple violations can be received on consecutive days, and even on the same day.

Additionally, under the new legislation, all violations are reset, meaning every motorist will start over with a first violation, even if they had received violations under the pilot program. Violations that were issued prior to Feb. 15, 2024, during the pilot program are still valid and will continue to be pursued.

Work zones with speed safety cameras deployed are marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. To improve driver awareness and ensure the signs are more easily noticed by motorists, new high-visibility signs are being implemented.

Pennsylvania’s Work Zone Speed Safety Camera 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. Camera systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice with a $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice with a $150 fine for third and all subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

“Speed safety cameras are important tools for discouraging drivers from exceeding posted speeds,” explained PA Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. “Paying attention and reducing speed are critical as drivers approach a work zone where workers are inches from live traffic. The goal of this program is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors.

“The pilot program demonstrated that even the first warning initiates a behavioral change as the percent of repeat offenders was less than 17 percent. Additionally, the program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”

“Many injuries and fatalities in work zones can be prevented if drivers simply slow down, and that’s the goal of this program,” said Pennsylvania State Police Director of the Bureau of Patrol Major Robert Krol. “The cameras have been effective in making our work zones safer, and we look forward to seeing additional results from the program’s full-time implementation.”

In 2022, there were 1,293 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 14 fatalities, and 42% of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 90 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

For more information on the Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.