PennDOT encourages drivers to 'put the brakes on fatalities'

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Saturday is "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" and PennDOT is urging motorists to slow down and drive safely.

"We want to encourage everyone to drive safe tomorrow and every day," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

In 2019, there were 1,059 fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways. While that was the lowest number of reported fatalities since 1928, Gramian said it's still too many. "Even one life lost is one too many, and Pennsylvania is committed to moving toward zero deaths."

According to PennDOT, national data shows that more than 90 percent of crashes are the result of driver behavior.

Gramian said, "This is why we urge motorists to slow down and avoid distractions. Because driving is a skill that requires 100 percent of your attention, 100 percent of the time."

In addition to those involved in crashes, the safety of first responders is also at risk. "Each day, emergency responders and highway workers risk their own safety to come to the aid of others on Pennsylvania roadways," said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "While on scene, this band of heroes must perform difficult jobs while also thinking about serious dangers very close by.”

Drivers should slow down or move over if they come upon an incident and pay attention to changing conditions and speed limits in work zones.

In March, PennDOT began using Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement. The system uses electronic speed timing devices to detect and record vehicles traveling 11 miles per hour or more over the work zone speed limit. Offenders are first given a warning notice in the mail. Subsequent offenses result fines.

"Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" observed every year on October 10.