Drivers who speed through construction zones could soon face a $100 fine

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Drivers who speed through PennDot construction zones soon could be caught on camera, and face a $100 fine.

A bill which targets work zone speeders made its way through the Senate and now will be under consideration by the House.

It's not unusual to see people speeding through a work zone such as along Interstate 83 at the Mt. Rose exit.

A senate bill proposes that speeders pay the price of a fine, so that PennDOT workers don't pay the ultimate price.

The speed limit in an active work zone is 45 mph, but few drivers actually are slowing down.

Sen. David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) said "you've seen the terrible accidents on the interstates on I-78, on 83, in 81, on 95, on the turnpike, and so people who do this kind of thing for a living, came to us and said please help us fix this terrible problem."

The bi-partisan solution proposed in Senate Bill 172 is for speed cameras.

The idea is to keep an eye on motorists who fail to obey the reduced speed limit, while keeping a PennDOT crews safe.

Motorist David Glasser said "I think it's a good idea. I mean everybody's got to be protected, and there's been too many people getting hit in work zones."

PennDot safety press officer Fritzi Schreffler said "anything that is done, whether it's by the legislature or the public themselves to make safety a priority in work zones is going to be a huge importance to PennDOT."

Drivers who push the pedal to the metal through an active construction zone, and whose cars get caught on camera, would receive a $100 fine.

"An active work zone is one where's there's actually work that's going on. You'll have lights that will be flashing, you're going to see equipment moving, people in the area," Schreffler said.

"The speed cameras will only be operating in active work zones. If the work zone isn't active, the camera isn't on, and the extra $100 fine will not be applicable," Argall said.

One group, the National Motorists Association, is against the bill, and calls for other safety solutions.

Others also may be against the idea of Big Brother watching over them, while some drivers say $100 is a small price to pay.

"You can't put a dollar amount on that if they don't go home to their families anymore," Glasser said.

"The idea isn't to make money for the state, the idea is to save lives, that's what this bill's all about,"'Argall said. I

"The reality is, that more motorists are killed or injured in work zones every year, than our own people are, but we obviously have to focus on the safety of our people, and the safety of the motorists," Schreffler said.

The fine would be attached to the vehicle, and not the driver, so no points would be added to an individual's license.

The money collected from the program would go to PennDOT to fund the program, the Turnpike, as well as the state police to staff work zones.