Unlike most of the rest of the country, Pennsylvania’s traffic fatalities have continued to drop, reaching an all-time low of 1,188 in 2016.
While this is indeed “good news,” it it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the number is still too high, when one considers that distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence and other behavioral causes can be avoided.
PennDOT has done a good job of moving safety improvement projects forward, even before passage of Act 89 of 2013, which will increase transportation funding by $2.3 billion per year. And auto makers, with considerable help from the burgeoning autonomous vehicle industry, are rapidly making safer cars and trucks.
Another initiative that would help is automated speed enforcement in highway work zones. Not only would this better protect highway workers, it would benefit motorists, who comprise by far the largest proportion of fatalities that result from work zone crashes. A bill is moving through the state Senate.
Transportation Issue Update
- Bucking the national trend, traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania continue to drop and are now lower than at any time since record keeping began in 1928.
- The first of 29 compressed natural gas fueling stations for public transportation agencies across the Commonwealth has been completed in Johnstown.
- Billy Penn published a rundown on the various I-95-related road construction projects in Philly. The verdict: construction will continue well into the next decade, and maybe longer.
- The development of autonomous vehicles and surrounding technology continues to move ahead at a significant pace. Here’s the latest from Pittsburgh.
- Although listed on PennDOT’s 12-year Transportation Improvement Plan, the widening of I-81 in northeast PA is still a long way off.
- PennLive/the Patriot News published a long article about the rebuilding of the PA Turnpike. This year another 21 miles of the toll road will be rebuilt.
- While most counties that consider assessing an optional $5 vehicle registration fee wind up approving it, Northumberland County has turned the opportunity down – twice.