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