The Daily Press

PennDOT seeks input on safety issues as traffic fatalities spike

- By Lauren Jessop

(The Center Square) – The agency responsibl­e for overseeing transporta­tion in Pennsylvan­ia seeks the public’s input on traffic safety as fatalities climb for the second year in a row.

The Pennsylvan­ia Department of Transporta­tion (PennDOT) says the online survey results will help the agency better understand the public’s attitude on highway safety and find more effective ways to reduce crashes.

Many of the deaths that have occurred on the state’s roadways in 2021 could have been prevented “simply by buckling up, slowing down, paying attention, and driving sober,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Mike Carroll.

Topics covered in the survey include seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, as well as bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety.

PennDOT said traffic fatalities have increased steadily since an all-time low recorded in 2019. In 2021, the agency recorded 1,230 deaths – 9% higher than data from 2020, when fewer drivers hit the roads amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

That same year, 118,000 crashes resulted in more than 69,000 injuries, the agency said.

The two largest categories of crash types reported – over 40,000 each – were at intersecti­ons and those involving single vehicles that were “run off the road.” Additional­ly, 12,741 were classified as distracted driving incidents.

PennDOT focuses on data trends to drive enforcemen­t and education improvemen­ts and invests more than $25 million annually to support behavioral safety programs.

The survey, which should take approximat­ely five minutes to complete, is available on PennDOT’s website through Feb. 28. All responses are completely anonymous.

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