CAMP HILL, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association’s Safety Management Council is now accepting applications for its annual Fleet Safety Awards.
PMTA's Fleet Safety Awards recognize motor carriers for the safe operation of their vehicles. Awards are based on miles traveled and number of accidents. Entry forms must be submitted by March 31 to be considered.
The full list of award criteria and the application is available here. Contact Direct of Safety Ken Morder (717-761-7122 ex. 102)
Harrisburg, PA – With a period of snow, sleet and freezing rain expected across the state through Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is imposing restrictions on certain trucks and other vehicles and limiting speed limits and urging motorists to prepare their vehicles for colder temperatures, potential black ice and inclement weather.
PennDOT is urging motorists to use caution during the icing event and generally reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.
The restrictions will be in place between 11 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday and will ban double trailers, empty trailers, non-commercial vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles and motorcycles on these interstates:
Speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph on these interstates while the vehicle restrictions are in place. Additional speed restrictions on other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions. In response to the anticipated storm, PennDOT has applied anti icing materials to many roads across the state and is activating its statewide command center and regional command centers in areas most affected by the storm.
PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said that PennDOT recognizes this week as Winter Driving Awareness Week to encourage motorists to plan ahead for this season’s winter storms, such as the one forecast for Monday.
“Refreshing yourself on winter driving and preparations is just as important in the winter as it is the rest of the year,” Richards said. “No matter whether they are taking short or long trips, it is important for drivers to ensure they are prepared for any type of weather and road condition.”
To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Drivers should also prepare their vehicles by having a trusted mechanic check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires, and wiper blades, as well as all fluid levels, lights, wiper blades and tires often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow.
A vehicle emergency kit should be prepared or restocked containing items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) works with county emergency management personnel to monitor unmet local needs during inclement weather affecting travel, utilities, and shelter. PEMA encourages Pennsylvanians to access Ready.pa.gov for the most up-to-date information on any emergency or weather-related situation affecting the state.
The National Weather Service says parts of the commonwealth could see an icy mix of rain and sleet dependent on local conditions, especially north of Interstate 80. While significant accumulations are not anticipated, even light amounts of snow and ice can create hazardous road conditions.
Motorists should be aware that all vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.
When winter weather occurs, PennDOT urges drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:
In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in 221 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.
PennDOT has created a Winter Safety media center, including social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter driving preparations and operations at www.penndot.gov in the “Media Center” under the “About Us” footer.
For more information on safe winter travel, anemergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at PennDOT.gov/safety.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the Fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement for 2019 and 2020 last week.
From the FMCSA: This rule establishes reductions in the annual registration fees collected from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement for the registration years 2019, 2020 and thereafter. For the 2019 registration year, the fees will be reduced below the 2017 registration fee level that was in effect by 18.62 percent to ensure that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository. The fees beginning with the 2020 registration year will be reduced below the 2017 level by approximately 9.9 percent. The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees (finalized on January 5, 2018) range from approximately $11 to $10,282 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities. The reduction in fees for 2020 and subsequent registration years range from approximately $5 to $3,899 per entity.
Fees can be paid at www.ucr.gov or you can call Wendy at PMTA Headquarters at (717) 761-7122 (ext. 113) for assistance.
PMTA is excited to announce that Dana Rhodes will be giving a presentation at the next Safety Management Council Meeting Jan. 17, 2019.
Rhodes is the Plant Health Program Manager and serves as the State Plant Regulatory Official for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. She has more than 27 years of experience in the horticultural field; 10 with the Department of Ag with regulatory responsibilities. Her work with the department of agriculture currently includes quarantine pest issues, nursery/greenhouse certification programs and inspections. Rhodes believes to control and contain pest issues, it takes industry and regulatory programs working together. It is important for each to understand how the other operates and why the pest poses a threat.
Rhodes’ presentation on the 17th will focus on navigating the spotted lanternfly situation currently affecting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Spotted lanternfly is a new invasive pest to Pennsylvania and the U.S. The insect has the potential to impact agriculture and quality of life where populations of the pest are high. The states are very concerned about the movement of this insect. Learn how assistance from industry is needed to safeguard commodities and safely move products from the quarantine areas into areas where there may be no spotted lanternfly. Find out how multiple states are working to find ways to work together with the assistance of industry through regulation and the permit system.
The SMC meeting will begin at 10 a.m. with Rhodes’ presentation to follow. To register, click here.
Wellersburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced that a 13-ton weight limit will be implemented on January 12, on a 3.7-mile section of Southbound Route 160 from Route 2015 (Glencoe Road) to the Maryland State Line in Wellersburg Borough, Somerset County in accordance with Section 4902 of the “Vehicle Code.”
Trucks carrying loads weighing more than 13 tons, except local deliveries, will not be permitted to traverse Route 160 over Wellersburg mountain until further notice. This restriction is being implemented in the interest of safety until further evaluation of the area can take place.
Trucks carrying loads over 13-tons will follow a signed detour route from Berlin onto Route 219 South into Maryland and then onto I-68. Trucks under the 13-ton limit are reminded to keep safety in mind as they traverse the area.
Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Subscribe to Penndot news in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties at www.penndot.gov/District9
Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAAltoona.
HARRISBURG, PA (Dec. 19, 2018) —The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) today projected that 6.3 million vehicles will travel the Turnpike during the holiday period beginning Thursday, Dec. 20 and concluding with the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
“While there may be a white Christmas in parts of Pennsylvania with heavy rain and snow in the forecast for later this week, the weather does not seem to be a deterrent for those heading out for the holidays,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. “Typically, the Christmas through New Year holiday is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, with 90 percent of travel occurring by car. Most of the traffic is expected to be spread out over the holiday week. However, this year many holiday travelers will head out on Thursday, Dec. 20.”
The PTC expects Thursday and Friday of this week to be the most heavily traveled days with 675,000 vehicles on the roadway each day. The lightest travel days are projected to be Dec.29 with about 350,000 vehicles, followed by Dec. 25 and 30 with about 410,000 vehicles each day.
“Just in time for the holiday season, the PA Turnpike has developed a new application to assist in detecting incidents as quickly as possible and help to maintain overall situational awareness across our 552-mile roadway,” explains Compton. “The Early Warning Detection (EWD) tool is an application that monitors the entire roadway and identifies ‘watchpoints’ based on specific criteria. Our Traffic Operations Center staff can use this tool to monitor and look at a section of roadway and know the real-time speed, active Waze alerts and weather within a half mile segment of road. Traffic operations staff can then immediately investigate to determine any needed responses.”
With traveler safety in mind, the Turnpike will increase police, safety and maintenance patrols throughout the holiday period. According to Lt. David Devitt of Pennsylvania State Police “Troop T,” patrols will focus on moving violations, including aggressive and distracted driving, to ensure motorists arrive safely at their destinations.
“With millions of travelers on the roadway this week and next, many will be driving long distances, under stress, and in hazardous conditions, said Lt. Devitt. “Please allow yourself extra travel time. Keep your eyes on the road and be mindful that the weather can change quickly across the Turnpike.”
The PA Turnpike has planned accordingly for heavy traffic. Motorists should not be detained by any scheduled maintenance or construction projects. All lanes will be open beginning 5 a.m. on Dec. 21 until 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1. Construction projects are suspended during this time.
On New Year’s Eve, HMSHost will offer free coffee at all Turnpike services plaza vendors (except for Starbucks) from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Jan. 1
To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. If there is an accident, move the car out of travel lane and onto shoulder, if possible, and stay in the vehicle. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· Dynamic Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)
· Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)
· Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
ON THE WEB
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view at https://www.paturnpike.com/webmap
# # #
Stepped-Up Enforcement to Begin Sept. 24; Market & Chestnut Focus of Initial Effort
City officials joined with partners at SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) today to announce a new effort to address Center City congestion. This will kick off starting September 24, with an initial focus on illegal movements along Market and Chestnut Streets that impact Philadelphians riding buses, walking, bicycling and driving.
In recent years, Center City’s growth has contributed to an increase in the number of pedestrians, transit riders, bikers and drivers of all types that share its narrow street grid. Philadelphia has grown by more than 50,000 residents and jobs since 2010, and Center City is now the second most dense downtown in the United States – behind only midtown Manhattan. The resulting traffic congestion impacts the lives of residents throughout the city, costing them valuable time, and limits their ability to reliably access employment opportunities and amenities.
“People need to get to where they are going – to work, to school, to see their loved ones – and not worry about getting stuck in traffic. It’s that simple. That is why the City is joining forces with SEPTA and the PPA to put this project in motion. We don’t need any new legislation, we are just enforcing laws already on the books,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
Congestion contributes to higher operating costs for SEPTA, and impacts service for customers. “Our region is Pennsylvania’s economic engine, and it works because mass transit works,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “Unmanaged traffic compromises our ability to move people through a dense, urban area. This partnership is crucial to ensure that SEPTA can keep the economy moving.”
During this enforcement effort, the PPA will be placing a special emphasis on no stopping and standing violations within vital bus lanes along with other offenses that add to congestion and create public safety issues.
“We are proud to partner with SEPTA, and the City of Philadelphia to deter illegal parking in vital bus lanes,” said PPA Executive Director Scott Petri. “Our goal is not to issue tickets, but rather deter if not stop unsafe behavior and eliminate congestion from our streets.”
The initial focus of this initiative will enhance enforcement of the bus, bike, and right-turn only lanes on Market and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. Chestnut Street will be prioritized for enforcement between 22nd and 10th Streets; Market will be enforced between 7th and 13th. The only acceptable use of the lanes are right turns. All other activity including stopping/standing, loading, or traveling through the intersection is prohibited.
To aid the Market and Chestnut enforcement effort, fresh line striping of bus lanes was completed on both Market and Chestnut streets. SEPTA supervisors have been providing warnings and educational pamphlets to drivers in violation in recent weeks. On September 24 enhanced enforcement will commence.
This a joint initiative of the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23
DELAWARE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, MARYLAND, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA
In accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR § 390.23, the Regional Field Administrators for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Southern and Eastern Service Centers, hereby declare that an emergency exists that warrants issuance of a Regional Emergency Declaration and an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs ), except as otherwise restricted by this Emergency Declaration. Such emergency is in response to Hurricane Florence, and its anticipated effects on people and property, including the immediate threat to human life or public welfare from high winds, heavy rains, high surf, storm surge and flooding. Affected States and jurisdictions included in this Emergency Declaration are: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This Emergency Declaration is needed to address anticipated emergency conditions in the Affected States and jurisdictions creating a need for immediate transportation of supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief.
Red the rest of the declaration HERE.
Critical Infrastructure Partners:
You are invited to attend a Critical Infrastructure Stakeholder Call concerning storms in the Atlantic and Pacific impacting the U.S., hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) & FEMA Office of Response and Recovery, Private Sector Division. The teleconference will include an overview of the weather situation, brief updates from the FEMA and NPPD Regions, and will conclude with an open forum for questions and information sharing. The agenda will follow.
Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Time: 3:00 pm EDT
Dial-In #: 1-888-877-0354
The Conference line will open 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the call.
Critical Infrastructure partners are also invited to access the information dashboards via the following links:
Atlantic Dashboard : https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeocatlantic
Pacific Dashboard: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeocpacific
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center at 202-282-9201 or NICC@hq.dhs.gov.
NICC Watch Operations
Department of Homeland Security
Central Florida Expressway Authority to be first in Florida to accept E-ZPass
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) and the E-ZPass Group, a network of toll road agencies operating from Maine to North Carolina and west through Illinois, announced today that E-ZPass will be accepted on CFX’s Metro Orlando toll roads starting Sept. 1. In a move to further their commitment to toll interoperability, CFX is the first and only Florida toll agency to join the E-ZPass network bringing the total number of states served by E-ZPass to 17.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission manages nearly 2.3 million E-ZPass accounts with 3.1 million transponders in circulation. Today, 82 percent of all PA Turnpike transactions are paid with E-ZPass.
CFX’s Governing Board approved an agreement with the E-ZPass group in fall 2017 that laid the groundwork for the two agencies to improve the travel experience for E-ZPass customers visiting the Orlando area. With the addition of CFX to the E-ZPass Group, E-ZPass customers can use the transponder they already own on CFX’s 118-mile toll system. Toll roads in Central Florida where E-ZPass is accepted are outlined on the below map.
The more than 35 million E-ZPass users can now drive in Metro Orlando and avoid having to fumble for change at CFX toll gantries. E-ZPass account holders will be billed for CFX tolls through their E-ZPass accounts with no extra fees or charges.
“Our customers wanted portability to the Sunshine State, and now they have it in Metro Orlando, the number-one tourist destination in the U.S.,” said E-ZPass Group Executive Director PJ Wilkins. “There is no pre-registration required since customers are already enrolled. Just don’t forget to take your E-ZPass transponder when planning to travel CFX roads!”
Almost half of Florida’s domestic visitors come from E-ZPass states, with about 50 percent traveling by car. The partnership between CFX and E-ZPass simplifies the travel experience for visitors equipped with an E-ZPass transponder in their vehicle. The launch of the partnership between E-PASS and E-ZPass comes ahead of the peak season when millions of visitors head to Orlando in search of warmth during the cold winter months.
“Orlando is the most visited destination in the United States, so whether traveling here for business or pleasure, we want our visitors to have the same experience that residents enjoy year-round,” said CFX Executive Director Laura Kelley. “The launch of our partnership with E-ZPass makes driving in Orlando a safe, convenient choice for drivers.”
E-ZPass is accepted on tolled roads operated by a network of toll agencies in 17 states and will work as payment on CFX toll roads in Central Florida marked with both E-PASS and E-ZPass logos.
E-ZPass does not capture tolls on roads outside of its network. E-ZPass customers traveling out of network on roads operated by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise under the SunPass brand will be invoiced for tolls via Florida’s Toll-By-Plate program.
© 2012 Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association 910 Linda Lane • Camp Hill, PA 17011 • United States of AmericaPhone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434