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Enhanced penalties for violations in road construction zones

With summer in full swing, you may already have forgotten about the long winter just past. However, the roads and highways have not forgotten. The many chemicals and heavy snow-moving equipment helps to break down the surfaces of roads already worn by normal car and truck traffic.

Now that the weather is warmer, you have likely already encountered many road construction projects across the state of Pennsylvania. While workers resurface the roads to make your commute smoother, they also take their lives in their hands every day amid the commuters. Because of this, the penalties for certain traffic violations are even more severe in a work zone.

Work zone safety

As eager as you are to get to your job, to make it on time to your appointment, or to finish your errands and go home, road construction can slow you down, perhaps adding hours to an already tiresome commute. You are not alone when you feel frustration and impatience to get back to the normal speed limit and get past the commotion.

However, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and law enforcement take worker safety seriously, and the penalties you face for speeding through a work zone can be severe. For example, in an active work zone, the typical fine you would pay for a speeding ticket is doubled. Authorities also double your fines for other violations, such as the following and more:

  • Failing to activate your headlights through a work zone
  • Failing to obey any devices, signals or flashing lights for controlling traffic
  • Failing to yield to authorized construction vehicles or workers in a work zone
  • Failing to obey a flagger or other person authorized to control traffic
  • Driving on the shoulder to pass traffic stopped for construction
  • Passing vehicles in a construction area's no-passing zone
  • Following traffic too closely through an active work zone
  • Driving recklessly or carelessly
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs through a work zone

Many traffic violations in Pennsylvania come with points, and those points can add up quickly. An accumulation of points on your license can result in license suspension and other penalties, which is why it is best to avoid convictions that result in those marks on your record.

All of the enhanced fines and penalties apply to active work zones, and the agency in charge of a particular work site is responsible for having appropriate notices in place for motorists. This includes traffic control devices and signs with unique lighting to alert drivers at the beginning of an active worksite. Without these indicators, drivers may not be aware that they are traveling through an active work site, in which case the enhanced penalties would not apply.

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