Speeding through a work zone in Pennsylvania is about to get even riskier

Drivers speeding through work zones will soon start receiving fines if they're caught by vehicle-mounted cameras, PennDOT announced Monday, Jan. 6.

Drivers will soon face fines for speeding through work zones when a statewide pilot program tracking vehicle speed culminates this winter.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Program rolled out this December, placing vehicle-mounted cameras to detect and record motorists who are traveling at 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.

These violations will be recorded as civil penalties only, and no points will be assessed to driver's licenses, according to a Monday, Jan. 6, news release.

Beginning March 4, registered drivers will receive a warning letter for the first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for the second offense and another notice with a $150 fine for the third, and subsequent, offenses.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation implemented the preenforcement program this fall, coordinated along with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and state police.

More:PennDOT to implement work zone speed camera pilot program next week

In York County, the work zone selected for the pilot was the Interstate 83 Exit 4 Project, between mileposts 3 and 4, which includes a number of updates to address congestion on I-83 from growth in Shrewsbury.

Since no warnings have been given out yet, PennDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Kuntch could not say how many vehicles have exceeded the limit in the pilot run, but a similar program in Maryland saw violations reduced over time.

The Maryland SafeZones program saw 7% of drivers exceeding the speed limit in work zones by 12 miles per hour or more when the program was first implemented in 2010, but by fall of 2019, fewer than 1% of drivers received citations, according to a news release. 

The speed detection systems in Pennsylvania will only be operational in active work zones where workers are present, in an effort to account for worker safety.

“When a crash occurs in an active work zone, it's just as likely to result in death or injury to a driver or passenger inside that vehicle,” said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton in the news release.

“This program is about protecting everybody’s safety," he stated. "If not for these workers in an active work zone, I ask you to slow down for yourself and other travelers."