The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding motorists to drive safely in work zones following three separate work zone intrusions in the northwest region resulting in motorists hitting a PennDOT crash truck.

One of those accidents was in Mercer County. 

In each of the last three months, there have been crashes involving private vehicles striking an attenuator on PennDOT crash trucks in District 1, which includes Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.

The three most recent occurrences are as follows:

April 28 on Interstate 80 in Mercer County
May 6 on Interstate 86 at the Route 89 Bridge in Erie County
June 10 on Interstate 90 in Erie County

"Construction season is in full swing and crews will continue to be visible throughout the district working diligently to improve our roadways," said PennDOT District Executive Brian McNulty. "For their safety and your own well-being, please do not speed, never drive distracted, and wear your seat belt, especially in work zones."

According to PennDOT data, in 2020 there were 1,754 work zone crashes statewide with 15 total deaths. 

In District 1 in 2020, there were 19 work zone crashes.

Since 1970, 89 PennDOT employees have died in the line of duty.

In addition to crash data from police reports, PennDOT monitors work-zone safety with internal reports.

In the past 12 months, there have been 14 reported intrusions in PennDOT District 1 work zones.

Of those work-zone intrusions, three resulted in injuries to PennDOT employees, four caused damage to PennDOT fleet or equipment and seven did not result in injury or damage but had the potential to do so.

Pennsylvania law states that anyone stopped by law enforcement for violating the posted work zone speed limit by more than 5 mph will face doubled fines.

The fine is determined based on the amount the driver is traveling over the speed limit.

Governor Tom Wolf signed a law in 2016 that says any driver who causes serious bodily injury within a work zone could face up to $5,000 in fines and a six-month license suspension, and a driver causing a death within a work zone could face up to a $10,000 fine and one-year license suspension.

Drivers who don't turn on their headlights in posted work zones face a $25 fine.


For more information on work zone safety visit, www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.