As part of its ongoing effort to improve highway safety, PennDOT is providing school districts with brief monthly messages for inclusion in websites or in electronic newsletters. These messages will cover various safety topics from school bus safety to underage DUI to texting and driving. It is our hope that parents and students will benefit from these safety tips.
February – aggressive driving
1. Do you speed, run red lights or tailgate? If you answered yes to any of these, you may be an aggressive driver. Police across the state are cracking down on aggressive drivers, so slow down – save your money and your life. Learn more about aggressive driving at JustDrivePA.com.
2. If you encounter an aggressive driver, PennDOT offers these tips:
• Get out of their way and don't challenge them.
• Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact and ignore rude gestures.
• Don't block the passing lane if you are driving slower than most of the traffic.
3. While many people associate aggressive driving with road rage, they are two different behaviors. Road rage, which is a criminal offense, is often the result of aggressive driving behavior that escalates into an assault with a vehicle or other dangerous weapon. For more information on aggressive driving visit, JustDrivePA.com.
January – winter driving
1. Winter in Pennsylvania can mean rapidly changing weather and road conditions. If you don’t have to drive during a storm, don’t. If you have to drive, make sure you pack an emergency kit and drive appropriately for the conditions. Learn more about winter driving and what to pack in an emergency kit at JustDrivePA.com. Information on PennDOT’s operations, like how we treat different types of storms, and other winter facts, is available at www.dot.state.pa.us/winter.
2. Winter driving can be dangerous with the rapidly changing weather and road conditions. Make sure that your vehicle is prepared. Ensure that all your fluid levels are full, and that your lights, heater and defroster are working properly. During storms, interstates and expressways are PennDOT's primary focus and equipment may be redirected to these routes during significant winter events. Plow trucks will also be slowed when facing heavy precipitation or when many other vehicles are also on roadways. This means that during heavier storms, motorists may find deeper accumulations on less-traveled routes and should adjust their driving for those conditions.
With the new school year in full swing, PennDOT is reminding young drivers and parents/caregivers alike of the state’s laws regarding child passenger safety. Drivers or passengers under 18 years of age must buckle up. Children under 8 years old must be properly restrained. This is a primary law, which means that police will pull you over, write you a ticket and if convicted, you’ll have to pay a fine. To learn about recommendations on child safety seats as well as the state’s law for wearing seat belts over age 18, visit www.JustDrivePA.com.