The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s competition to get ideas for work zone safety is a noble concept, but the story got hijacked.
Many problems I see in work zones are caused by the engineers designing them, and the workers in them. Pennsylvania cannot even post clear signs or post the zipper merge. Maybe we should start with evaluating what is being done now first? Michigan has an excellent work zone program that is the opposite of Pennsylvania’s, but it works well, copy it.
Speed cameras were mentioned, but missing was that a judge called them three-card monte, and the many errors that were seen in Maryland. Is this what well-established means? Are scofflaws the safe drivers who exceed underposted speed limits? These devices should be repealed immediately. The goal is revenue generation, and the law will likely worsen when enough money is not raised.
Now the local students want to use some form of this to reward people who drive below the safe speed of the traffic flow, and are basically rolling roadblocks, with prizes? Sounds backwards. It would also involve more surveillance and databases. Pennsylvania already has essentially unregulated use of automated license plate readers. Who has access to all this info? What do they do with it? Are people ever pulled over erroneously? Is it ever misused? Good luck getting answers to these questions.
Pennsylvania has become a state of poor traffic engineering and predatory ticketing of safe drivers. Contact your state representative, state senator and the governor, and say enough already!
James Sikorski Jr.
PA Advocate National Motorists Association