Monday, June 27, 2011

State Rep Mark Gillen Responds to My Letter -- Have You Written Yet?

Dear Michele,
Thank you for your email regarding House Bill 1475, which provides for convictions and points, for speed timing devices, and for specific powers of department and local authorities. Please know that HB 1475 was referred to the House Transportation Committee on May 5, 2011. I am not on the Transportation Committee and, therefore, cannot vote to bring it to the House floor. Rest assured, however, that I will keep your comments in mind if or when this legislation comes before me on the floor. Again, thank you for your email. It is always helpful to have constituent input as I seek to represent the 128th legislative district.

Mark Gillen
State Representative
128th Legislative District
District Office
29 Village Center Drive
Suite A-7
Reading, PA 19607
Phone: (610) 775-5130
Fax: (610) 775-3736
Harrisburg Office
409 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202128
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-8550
Fax: (717) 783-7862
My email message to Rep Gillen was:
Action I would like to see:   HB 1475:
Please consider that speed timing devices such as radar are traffic calming devices that save lives.
Traffic Calming Statistics

  • Most pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas (73%) at non intersection locations (77%) in normal weather conditions (90%) and at night (67%). (NHTSA, 2007)
  • Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among young people (ages 10-24) in the world. (World Health Organization)
  • They are also the leading cause of death among children in the United States. (United States Center for Disease Prevention)
  • Speeding is the single most common traffic rule violation and contributes to one third of all road traffic crashes . (World Health Organization)
  • Traffic Calming measures are a key intervention to road traffic crashes and deaths. (World Report on Road Traffic Injury Protection)
  • If current trends continue, the number of people killed and injured on the world's roads will rise by more than 60% between 2000 and 2020. (World Health Organization)
  • In 2005 there were nearly 3 million people injured on the roads in the United States. (US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)
  • There were 43,443 people killed on US roads in 2005 alone (US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)
  • There are an average of 117 fatalities per day due to traffic incidents (US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)
  • 30% of the people killed in traffic accidents each day are under 25 (US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)
  • Each year, 400,000 people under age 25 die in traffic accidents, averaging more than 1,000 deaths a day. (World report on Road Traffic Injury Protection)
  • In 2005, traffic accidents killed an average of 4 children under the age of 14 each day and injured 556 daily. In total, 203,000 children were injured and 1,451 were killed. (National Center for Health Statistics 2006 Report)
  • Two thirds of children who are hurt or killed in traffic accidents are struck and injured within several blocks (.25 miles) of their homes (American Journal of Public Health)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

State Representative Thomas J. Quigley Responds!

Dear Ms. Barrett:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding HB 1041 and SB 526. I have supported these measures in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Thomas J. Quigley
State Representative
146th Legislative District
717-772-9963 (Harrisburg Office)
610-326-9563 (District Office)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Response from Senator Jay Costa, Jr, 43rd District

Dear Ms. Barrett:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code to allow local police departments to employ radar guns as a way to monitor speeding on our roads. Under current law, only the Pennsylvania State Police may employ radar guns. I appreciate your interest in this legislation, and I understand your support for the use of this device by local law enforcement.

As you may be aware, the General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would make this change. Senate Bill 526 is currently under the consideration of the Senate Transportation Committee, while House Bill 1041 is before the House Transportation Committee. These bills would make substantial changes to the way in which our speed limits are enforced, and it is important that we carefully consider the impact of these changes. If legislation on this issue should come before me, I will take your support and the local needs that you mentioned into consideration.

Once again, thank you for contacting me about this matter. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in any way.

Sincerely yours,
Senator Jay Costa, Jr.
43rd District

Sample Letter to Your State Elected Leaders:

Honorable Representative _____________________:
Allowing local police to use radar will make our communities safer. Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that does not allow local police departments to use radar for the purpose of speed enforcement.

In 2009 Pennsylvania suffered 32,669 speed-related car crashes, 538 of them fatal. According to the PennDOT Crash Facts & Statistics Report, these crash and fatality rates are higher than PAʼs rates of alcohol, careless, and distracted driver accidents combined.

HB 1041 and SB 526, both introduced this session, are similar bills that would allow
accredited local police departments to use radar in speed enforcement.
Every year hundreds of motorists are killed in speeding-related accidents. Radar is a proven, effective law enforcement tool to stop drivers jeopardizing othersʼ safety by disobeying speed limits. By keeping these tools out of the hands of local police departments, law enforcement offices are limited in the tools that they have available to promote safe streets.

HB 1041 and SB 526 will make our communities safer by empowering local police departments to use a tool the Pennsylvania State Police have been using effectively since 1961. These bills will improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and all others interacting with roadways patrolled by local police enforcement agencies.


Monday, June 13, 2011


June Newsletter is Packed with Grant Information and How to Guides. You don't want to miss this issue!


Monday, June 6, 2011

A Letter From Transportation For America

Shouldn't federal dollars build safer streets than this?

Imagine the horror of losing your child, your friend or your family member simply because they were walking in the wrong place at the wrong time. To those who haven’t experienced this kind of tragedy, it may sound paranoid and unlikely but the fact is, it happens – a lot.

From 2000 to 2009, 47,700 Americans were simply walking when they were struck and killed. Another 688,000 were injured in that same time period – meaning a pedestrian was hit by a car or truck every 7 minutes for the past ten years.

Join us in asking your lawmakers to support legislation that will ensure that new and reconstructed roads are built to be safe for everyone that uses them.

Despite the incredible magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, the federal government and many state departments of transportation have made a dangerous choice, prioritizing the movement of cars over the safety of all people, even in our neighborhoods.

Two-thirds of these deaths occurred on roads built to federal guidelines, typically with federal funding. Shouldn’t our federal transportation dollars build roads that are safe for all users?

We know that prioritizing safety with federal transportation dollars and policy saves lives. Efforts to improve vehicle design, encourage seat belt and child car seats, and discourage drunk and distracted driving have resulted in a 27 percent reduction in traffic fatalities over the last decade. But the dangerous conditions for pedestrians have largely gone unaddressed and fatalities have barely budged.

Clearly, the system is broken and it's time to fix it!

Ask your senators and representative to ensure that federal dollars don’t build roads that are “dangerous by design.” Ask your congressional delegation to support the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011, ensuring federal transportation investments take into account the needs of everyone using the road.

Our transportation system should work for everyone. It's time to fix it to make it safe, reliable, and accessible for everyone!

Stephen Lee Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Transportation for America