Heavy Trucks: Appendix 5

Profiles of State and Local Agency Implementation Efforts

Emphasis Area
12.1 Heavy Truck Crashes

Strategy Name and Number
Strategy 12.1.E.1: Identify and Treat Truck Crash Roadway Segments - Signing.

Agency and Jurisdiction
Pennsylvania DOT

Problem(s) Identified
Using GIS statewide plots of truck-related crashes, Pennsylvania identified corridors with a high incidence of truck crashes and fatalities. Five corridors were identified initially, and a process for expansion is being developed. Maps identifying these areas have been distributed to police agencies within the state.

Goals and Objectives Established
Department district safety personnel were brought together to discuss the selected corridors and tasked with developing a program for each identified corridor that included enforcement, education, and engineering elements. The PA Unified Truck Safety Strategy, developed and published by PENNDOT in 2002, includes a goal to identify highway corridors for enhanced enforcement.

Description of Strategy Implemented
Corridors were treated individually, and special signs, measuring 5' by 10', were developed that included such messages as:

  • High truck crash area
  • Targeted enforcement area
  • Heavy truck traffic
  • Beware aggressive drivers

Summary of Implementation Effort (Lessons Learned)
Changing signs alone is likely to have minimal enduring effects on prevailing vehicle speeds. It is recommended that traffic enforcement be stepped up in the safety corridors through the use of increased patrols.

The Pennsylvania state legislature has supported PENNDOT's efforts to designate safety corridors relating to truck safety as well as aggressive driving, unbelted driving, DUI, and following too closely. The legislature has authorized doubled fines in these areas; Pennsylvania is finalizing a policy to implement these increased fines.

Summary of Results
Pennsylvania is currently conducting a before-and-after evaluation of crash data in the safety corridors. In addition, it is employing roadside speed monitors to physically measure average vehicle speeds and following distances.

Contact Person and Information
Girish N. Modi, Chief, Safety Management Division, Bureau of Highway Safety & Traffic Engineering, PENNDOT, P.O. Box 2047, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2047, (717)783-1190.