What is the AWZSE and How will it Affect your Driving Habits?

Last week PennDOT and the PA Turnpike announced that enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program, which in early April 2020. Now drivers must slow down and pay attention – especially in work zones. The new program uses “vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record” drivers exceeding work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour. This will occur only in zones where workers are present. Violations will include:

  • First Offence: Warning Letter
  • Second Offence: Violation Notice and $75 fine
  • Subsequent Offences: Violation Notice and $150
  • NOTE that violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses. Violation notices will be sent to a registered vehicle owner within 90 days of the occurrence. If you were not driving the vehicle you are still responsible for paying the fine. If you want to contest the violation, instructions for doing so are in the letter.

You can find out more about the locations of the camera and get answers to your questions at https://workzonecameras.penndot.gov

The reason PennDOT has put this program in place is to save lives. The goal is to change PA motorist’s unsafe driving behavior. In 2018, there were 23 motorists killed in PA work zones and 1,804 crashes. PennDOT and PA Turnpike workers have also been killed in work zones over the years. The states of Maryland and Illinois also have AWZSE programs.

The money generated from the PA AWZSE program will pay for program operating expenses. If the program generates additional revenue after expenses are covered, it will be awarded as follows:

  • For the first 3 years of the program:
    • 45% goes to the Pennsylvania State Police (Recruiting, Training, and Equipment),
    • 15% goes to the PennDOT or PA Turnpike Commission where the violation occurred, and 40% goes to the Motor License Fund.
  • For years 4 and 5 of the program:
    • 100% goes to PennDOT or PA Turnpike Commission areas where the violation occurred so they can use it to further develop a Work Zone and Highway Safety program.
    • The staff at Carpey Law applauds this new program and hopes it works to change motorist behaviors in work zones, and any time they get behind the wheel.