Reports of Intrusions Raise Concerns
Harrisburg – Following the June 1 death of a
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission worker in a work-zone crash and reports of
public vehicles entering work zones or narrowly missing workers, PennDOT and
the commission today called on drivers to use caution and obey laws in work
be a lot of construction work this year because of our transportation plan, so
PennDOT and other roadway workers will be a common sight,” PennDOT Secretary
Barry J. Schoch said. “These are men and women who are working literally inches
from passing traffic – it’s a very important, but very dangerous job.”
Commission CEO Mark Compton noted that there are very real consequences when
people choose to drive distracted or speed through work zones.
of William McGuigan is a reminder that there are real people working in our
construction zones, not just cones and barrels. Just like all of us, these
people want to make it home to their families at the end of the day,” Compton
said. “As a driver in a work zone, our first priority must be to obey the speed
limit. Be aware of the presence of workers — it can mean life or death for our
an equipment operator at the Turnpike’s Devault Maintenance Facility in
Malvern, Pa., died after being hit by a tractor trailer that entered the closed
lane in which he was working, about two miles east of the Downingtown
Interchange in Chester County. He left behind a wife and two adult daughters.
June 23 this year, PennDOT has reported 10 incidents resulting in staff injury
or equipment damage, as well as 32 “near misses” due to public vehicles inappropriately
entering work zones or disobeying flaggers or traffic control devices. This
year has already surpassed the 18 near misses reported in 2013, which also saw
44 staff-injury or equipment-damage reports.
June 10 this year, the Turnpike Commission estimates there have been
approximately 15 incidents resulting in staff injury or equipment damage and
about 20 “near misses” due to traffic entering work zones or disobeying
department’s creation in 1970, 84 PennDOT employees have lost their lives in
the line of duty. McGuigan marked the Turnpike Commission’s 34th worker
fatality since the turnpike opened in 1940.
to causing some worker deaths, data shows that unsafe driving in work zones
also impacts drivers themselves. According to PennDOT data, in 2013, there were
more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones, an increase from the more
than 1,600 work-zone crashes in 2012. Sixteen people were killed in work-zone
crashes in 2013, five fewer than in 2012.
information on work zone safety tips and laws, visit the “Work Zone”
information center at www.JustDrivePA.com.
Kirkpatrick or Erin Waters-Trasatt, PennDOT, 717-783-8800
DeFebo, Pa. Turnpike Commission, 717-920-7176