Proposals in Harrisburg would allow speed cameras to be installed along some Pennsylvania work zones.
Bills in the state House of Representatives and state Senate would allow speed-tracking devices to monitor vehicles in highway work zones on Pennsylvania highways. Drivers who would be speeding in work zones would have a photo of their licence plate snapped and a fine would be levied.
Both bills – HB 1748 and SB 172 – would fine drivers who travel at least 11 miles over the work zone speed limit in certain state highway work zones only when work is underway. In advance of the speed cameras, signs to alert drivers would have to be posted. Violations would be mailed and would be noncriminal traffic law violations. An appeal process was baked into the proposed law.
The two bills, which have yet to be voted on by the full legislative bodies, would be part of a five-year pilot program to test the work zone speed cameras.
Maryland began using speed cameras in work zones in 2015. Data from that state indicated that work zone speed violations dropped and deaths in work zones dropped from six in 2015 to one in 2016 once the new monitoring system went into place.
PennDOT officials said 16 people were killed in work-zone crashes statewide in 2016.
A 2016 memo from state Sen. David Argall and Sen. Judith Schwank noted that a 2012 report from the Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee stated state police spent $5.7 million to patrol work zones. The proposed new law would cut down on the need for manned patrols because speed camera systems would be unmanned.
SB 172 additionally proposed a five-year pilot program to allow Philadelphia to install a number of speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard from the Bensalem border to Ninth Street in the city. The fine for a driver snapped going at least 11 miles over the speed limit would be fined $150.