Far too many drivers in Pittsburgh and throughout the state are in a rush to get to their destinations. As a result, many of them speed through work zones and fail to stop for school buses. This type of behavior disrupts road safety and significantly increases the risk of serious or fatal car accidents. However, state officials have been addressing this growing concern.
During a recent Senate Transportation Committee hearing, Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll stressed the importance of extending and expanding programs that utilize cameras in work zones and on school buses to capture violators.
The programs, authorized under Act 86 of 2018, include automatic speed cameras in work zones. School districts can also install cameras on buses to ticket motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The impact of speed cameras on road safety
The work zone camera program has issued nearly 1.1 million violations since its launch in 2020. This has helped to deter speeding and promote safer driving in construction zones.
While pandemic-related construction halts have influenced the data on work zone crashes, Pennsylvania experienced a reduction in work zone accidents of approximately 100 per year when construction resumed. This statewide trend is in contrast with the increased work zone crashes across the nation during the same period.
Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia has been regarded as one of Pennsylvania's most dangerous roads. The speed cameras contributed to a 21% decrease in fatalities and a 64% reduction in pedestrian crashes on this road between August 2020 and November 2022. Speeding violations also plummeted by 95%, showcasing the effectiveness of automated enforcement.
Challenges with speed camera programs
While the speed camera programs have made a positive impact, they're set to expire in the near future. The PennDOT and Turnpike Commission programs are set to end in February, while the Philadelphia speed camera initiative ends in December.
Efforts are underway in the Pennsylvania legislature to extend and expand these programs. That includes the addition of speed cameras in new locations. These initiatives focus on enhancing safety and encouraging responsible driving behavior rather than generating revenue.
Transportation officials are also working to enhance signage and address other program issues to ensure the continued success of these automated traffic enforcement measures.
How speeding affects road safety
In 2021, there were 956 car accidents in work zones across the United States. Roughly 778 of them involved vehicles with passengers. Another 173 involved pedestrians and bicyclists. Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents in work zones. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 12,330 people died in 2021 due to speed-related crashes. Speeding continues to be a major hazard to road safety due to:
- Loss of vehicle control.
- Increased stopping time and distance.
- Increased crash severity.
- Reduced effectiveness of seat belts, airbags, and other protective equipment.
Your legal options after a crash with a negligent driver
Every day, speeding drivers disrupt road safety in Pittsburgh and communities across Pennsylvania. That's why the car accident lawyers at Romanow Law Group in Pittsburgh are committed to holding speeding drivers accountable when their actions cause someone else's injury or death.
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a speed-related crash, we can help you seek the justice and financial compensation you deserve. To find out how we can help you, contact us online and schedule a free consultation.