Watch your speed through work zones in Pennsylvania.
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Wednesday that enforcement of speed limits in work zones will begin next week.
Earlier this year, the Route 1 and Pennsylvania Turnpike work zone in Bensalem were among the first test locations in the state for the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program. A law signed last year allows for a 60-day pilot period, which ended Wednesday.
“Pennsylvania’s AWZSE 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. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Beginning today, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses,” according to PennDOT.
The systems will be placed in work zones that are “selected to maximize the effectiveness of the systems.” Signage will be placed in advance of the enforcement zone, and a website will have updated locations.
The Route 1 and Turnpike work area in Bensalem will be among the first enforcement areas following the end of the pilot, PennDOT said.
“While there can be fines assessed, the AWZSE program’s goal is not to generate revenue,” said Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “The goal is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors. The program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”
PennDOT data showed that there were 1,804 work zone crashes in the state, resulting in 23 fatalities, in 2018. Over the past 40 years, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty and the Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.
Nearby, Maryland began using work zone speed cameras out in 2015. The data from Maryland showed that work zone speed violations dropped and deaths in work zones dropped from six in 2015 to one in 2016.