Officials with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are hoping to see a pilot program that allows automated speed cameras to record speeding violations in work zones to be extended.
That program has been used over the last several years as a deterrent toward speeding on highways like Interstates and the Pennsylvania Turnpike that are under active construction or road work. The pilot program is set to expire in February, unless lawmakers extend the program or remove the sunset date altogether.
Tom Macchione, the turnpike's director of transportation engineering, said the program has contributed to reducing speeding in work zones.
"If you take this tool away, you're potentially going to see work zone crashes go up," he said.
Under the system, a violation is issued when someone travels at least 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit for a work zone. First-time violators are issued a warning. Their second offense comes with a $75 fine and subsequent offenses each cost $150.
Macchione said there had been demonstrable reductions in speed and pointed to the fact that of the more than 444,800 violation notices issued in 2022, only 18.6 percent of them were repeat violations.
"The program itself is designed to break even. We don't make money," he said. "Any money that's left is put back into the program and on work zone safety to continue to save lives."
A state House committee on Monday approved the legislation, while the issue of automated ticketing is set to be discussed by a Senate committee on Monday.