News for Constituents

Distracted Driving Dangers

Driving while dialing, calling, or texting, triples crash risk, according to leading highway safety advocates. Yet, a quarter of all teens respond to a text message once or more every time they are behind the wheel.

One out of five young drivers do NOT believe texting affects driving performance. Among 18-20 year old drivers, 68 percent are willing to respond to incoming calls some, most, or on all driving occasions.

Reaction time is 18 percent slower for both younger and older drivers while using a cell phone and increases two-fold the number of rear-end collisions. Teens witnessing parents engaged in distracted driving behaviors reflect parental activity behind the wheel.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Leading safety advocates and agencies, promoting the Turn Around, Don’t Drown campaign, are urging motorists to never underestimate the power, condition, and speed of water within flooded locales.

Six inches of rushing water can knock a man off his feet, while just two feet of flooding waters can carry away most cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service Hydrologic Services.

Flash flooding from heavy rains accompanying a hurricane, may necessitate remaining in your home for at least 72 hours. PEMA is ready to help you prepare for emergencies and disasters, whether arising from storms and hurricanes, floods, fires, influenza pandemics, terrorism or other natural and manmade disasters. Begin planning today with your copy of the Emergency Preparedness Guide, available in large print and multiple languages.

Family Fishing Fun Continues Into Fall

Family fishing fun continues through early fall, according to the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

Designated days and locations scattered around the Commonwealth, open up fishing opportunities for those with no fishing license or equipment. Basic fishing skills, from tying knots to casting to removing the hook, are taught by seasoned, PF&BC-approved anglers.

Enjoy a day of fishing, then catch the angler spirit and get a license for future use. Drop in on the PF&BC’s Frequently Asked Questions for a wealth of information on angling in PA. You may wish to access a copy of the 2015 PA Fishing Summary Book to further familiarize yourself with PA’s fishing laws and regulations.

Use Less, Pay Less Made Easier

Use less, pay less as you and your family adopt a few energy conservation measures and tap resources recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Home heating and cooling consumes 45 percent of energy costs. An Energy Star rating indicates an energy efficiency level exceeding federal minimum standards. Purchasing a new Energy Star rated furnace can increase efficiency by as much as 16 percent and save nearly $100 annually. Cut another 30 percent from your home energy use by replacing your central air conditioning unit.

Investing in Energy Star kitchen appliances means your refrigerator and dishwasher use less of your energy budget. Installation of a WaterSense low-flow showerhead can save nearly 3,000 gallons of water annually. Include a WaterSense dual flush toilet to further decrease water consumption. For increased savings, add a rain barrel to collect water for gardening that would otherwise pass through your gutter and storm water system.

Capturing 100 Years of PA Agriculture

One hundred years of Pennsylvania agriculture comes to life in “Hold Your Horses”, according to Pennsylvania Farm Show officials. A collector’s item, regaling agricultural stories from the Commonwealth’s 67 counties, are captured in the limited edition, 176-page hardcover book being sold for $25. Proceeds support the PA Farm Show Scholarship program.

The book chronicles the first farm show in an agricultural implements building at Tenth and Market Streets in Harrisburg through the 1929 stock market crash and the construction of the early North Cameron and Maclay Streets Complex. The military repaired airplanes and trained mechanics at that location during WWII, while undaunted farmers continued with meetings absent exhibits.

Today the annual PA Farm Show covers more than a million square feet of floor space and brings a taste of farm life to more than 400,000 visitors.