Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary, Barry J. Schoch, released
statistics about the safety of our roads earlier this month. The good
news is that we had fewer fatalities in 2013. The total number of fatalities
dropped from 1,310 to 1,208. In addition, there were notable decreases
in fatalities where the victim was unbuckled, where a vehicle was speeding,
and where the accident involved a single vehicle running off the road.
Unfortunately, there was an increase in the number of fatalities where
distracted driving was involved. There was also an increase in side-swipe
and head-on collision deaths. How many of the side-swipes and head-on
collisions were the result of unreported distraction? Anyone who drives
sees the way distracted drivers often weave or cross the line. We need
to increase enforcement and education to drive all of those statistics down.
Over the last week, I’ve driven on Highways in New York for some
family travel. I saw signs that I’ve never seen before. New York
has re-branded all of their rest areas as “Text Stops” with
approach signs warning drivers “It can wait.” I commend Governor
Cuomo for that approach and I urge Penn DoT to consider adding signs like
that to the arsenal being used to make our roads progressively safer.
New York signs