HARRISBURG – The reauthorization of the automated speed zone enforcement program was signed into law last week by the governor, according to Sen. Rosemary Brown (R-40).
House Bill 1284 – now Act 38 of 2023 – will make the pilot program permanent, but not without significant changes initiated by Brown on behalf of drivers and constituents in her district.
“In the 40th Senatorial District, we have several speed zone enforcement cameras to encourage drivers to slow down, prevent serious accidents and protect our construction workers,” said Brown. “However, while we work to save lives, we must always be fair to drivers.”
While the intention of the legislation is to keep roadside workers safe from traffic, the pilot program did not come without complaints.
“Constituents called – and I listened,” said Brown. “It became clear that several parameters needed to be addressed, including signage, signals and administrative shortcomings. When the opportunity presented itself to make changes to House Bill 1284, I worked to bring fairness to the program before it was signed into law.”
Brown successfully addressed residents’ largest frustrations – adequate signage and addressing administrative shortfalls.
The program now requires the first camera enforcement sign to be the largest sign permitted by federal regulations, unless PennDOT or the turnpike determines a smaller size is necessary for safety reasons. Clear and accurate signage must also be visible to indicate if the speed enforcement system is active and in-use. The first warning sign must be immediately followed by a speed limit sign, which must be placed prior to the enforcement system.
Brown’s office received complaints from constituents who received their first warning and second violation on the same day. Brown worked to address these concerns as well. Under the amended program, a driver cannot be issued a second offense until 15 days have passed since the mailing of the initial written warning.
Additionally, there is now a mechanism for vehicles owners who were ticketed, but not operating the vehicle. Owners may be required to submit evidence that they were not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation, but they are not required to disclose the identity of the individual who was operating the vehicle.
“This program is to help calm our roadways, not excessive ticketing.” said Brown.
Act 38 of 2023 will take effect on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024.