Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through them.

Per the Altoona Mirror, there were 1,804 work zone car crashes in Pennsylvania in 2018 alone. Of those 1,804 crashes, 23 road deaths resulted, and 43% of those wrecks involved at least one injury or fatality.

Work zone crash hazards

Part of the reason work zones are so dangerous is because they create numerous hazards. The road work, itself, creates risks. So, too, do drivers who speed, consume alcohol or otherwise exercise negligence before making their way through these areas.

Speed, in particular, has become a major issue in work zones. For this reason, Pennsylvania is taking a cue from Maryland and other nearby states and beefing up the penalties lodged against drivers who speed in these areas.

Stiffened sanctions for work zone violators

To minimize work zone car wrecks, Pennsylvania has launched a new program that records those who travel more than 11 mph over the limit in work zones. First-time offenders may receive warnings for violations. Second-time offenders receive violation notices and may have to pay a $75 fine. Third-time offenders also receive violation notices and face $150 fines.

Most safety advocates are in favor of strengthening enforcement in work zones. However, many believe Pennsylvania has done too little too late and lags behind many other states when it comes to protecting its citizens in these areas.