Monthly Messages from Penn-DOT

As part of its ongoing effort to improve highway safety, PennDOT is launching a new initiative this year to provide 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.
 

Bonus Student Centered Messages From of The PA DUI Association

Next time you get behind the wheel, take a few seconds and buckle up. If you or your passengers are under 18, you can get pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. It’s simple – law enforcement will be writing tickets to save lives, so buckle up.

Talk to your parents and find out if they are familiar with Pennsylvania’s teen driver law. According to Pennsylvania’s Graduated Driver Licensing law, if you are 16, you cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless traveling to or from work.


August – School Bus Safety

It’s that time when school buses are everywhere. If a school bus has its lights flashing and stop arm extended, you must stop. The only exception is if you are on the other side of a highway divided by a concrete barrier or grassy median. If you are following or traveling alongside a school bus, the law also requires you to stop at least 10 feet away. Learn more about the school bus stopping law and penalties for violations at www.JustDrivePA.com.

(National Stop on Red Week as it appears on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Calendar is Aug. 15-Sept. 1


July –Motorcycle Safety

Summer is in full gear – remember to watch for motorcycles – they are smaller vehicles and may be difficult to see. Allow more following distance and always signal your intentions before changing lanes/merging into traffic. For more safety tips on sharing the road safely, visit

www.JustDrivePA.com. And, if you are a motorcycle rider, you know that car drivers don’t always see you. For your safety, consider taking a motorcycle safety course. Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program offers free courses March through October at roughly 70 locations across PA. For more information and to enroll in a course, visit www.pamsp.com. And, check out www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com when you get a chance. The website offers great resources for riders, including rider tips, information on motorcycle gear and upkeep and popular motorcycle routes in PA. Oh, and did you know that while the use of all protective gear is always encouraged, PA law requires you to wear a helmet if you are under 21. For those over 21, Pa law requires you to wear a helmet if you have not been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least 2 years or have completed a motorcycle safety course. Additionally, all riders are required to wear eye-protective devices unless operating a motorized pedalcycle or a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab. And if you are under 18 and want a motorcycle license, you must take the PAMSP training course.

Visit PennDOT’s You Tube channel for additional Motorcycle Safety Videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/PennsylvaniaDOT


June – summer driving

With the impending arrival of summer, now is a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the rigors of summer driving. Have it checked by a mechanic you trust and learn what you can do to get your vehicle in shape at www.dmv.state.pa.us.

With the school year ending across Pennsylvania, be sure that you and your family are riding bicycles safely! Check out PennDOT’s series of bicycle and pedestrian safety videos at www.youtube.com/pennsylvaniaDOT. While you’re there, view Just Drive – Work Zone Smart, a video showing why it’s so important to all of us to travel safely through construction zones.


May – National Youth Traffic Safety Month

You make choices every day – what to wear, what to eat, what TV show to watch, what songs to listen to on the radio. So, why not make the choice every day to be safe behind the wheel, to protect your safety and the safety of others? What would happen if you chose to speed, to talk or text on your cell phone, chose not to buckle your seat belt, or to drink and drive? Who would be left behind? Whose lives would you impact by making choices that could have devastating consequences? When behind the wheel, you’re in control of a lethal weapon, so make sure you always focus on the task at hand – driving safely. May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month – remember, buckling your seat belt takes like two seconds and that call or text can totally wait! And, let’s not forget the dangers of speeding, and drinking and driving. To help you make wise choices behind the wheel, visit the Young Driver section at www.JustDrivePA.com.

It’s also National Bike Month – check out PennDOT’s series of bicycle and pedestrian safety videos for viewers of all ages at www.youtube.com/pennsylvaniadot.


April – zero tolerance
 
Underage drinking and driving both carry serious consequences for those under 21. Pennsylvania´s Zero Tolerance Law includes fines, license suspensions and even jail time for minors who drive impaired, consume, possess or transport alcohol, or lie about age to purchase alcohol. Adults who are convicted of knowingly and intentionally supplying minors with alcohol are also subject to fines and jail. More about the Zero Tolerance Law is available at www.JustDrivePA.com.

It’s also Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Learn more at http://www.justdrivepa.org/Traffic-Safety-Information-Center/Distracted-Driving/.


March – work zone safety

Work zones are starting to pop up across the state. The best thing you can do as a driver is slow down and pay attention when you pass through them. Expect the unexpected. More than 80 PennDOT employees have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1970. Let’s all get home safely. Get more work zone safety tips at www.JustDrivePA.com.

Just Drive- Work Zone Smart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aOHMHipXXk=


February – aggressive driving

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 www.JustDrivePA.com.


2014 January – winter driving

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 www.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


 December – Distracted Driving

Are you guilty of texting or talking while driving? Research has shown that distraction from cell phone use while driving – either hand-held or hands-free – delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Remember that Pennsylvania law prohibits sending, reading or writing text-based communication on devices such as cell phones while driving. Visit www.JustDrivePA.com for more information.

Just Drive—Distractions Can Wait

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVT2eulXlek


October – Teen Driver Safety

Driving is a complex activity – it involves putting together multifaceted evaluations, split-second decision making and performing intricate maneuvers. As Oct. 20-26 marks National Teens Driver Safety Week, it’s important for teen drivers to develop and maintain the proper attitude about driving.  Remember – driving is a privilege, not a right. And, it’s important for parents/guardians to start an open dialogue with their teen about safe driving skills before they turn 16, set a good example and consider establishing a parent /teen driving contract. A sample of this contract and more safety tips for teens and parents are available at www.JustDrivePA.com.   The website also includes information on passenger and license requirements that went into effect in 2011, and are important reminders for parents and young drivers alike.

 

Video:  Close Call: Pedestrian Safety for Young Drivers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn7bAVRfrzM

 

National School Bus Safety week is Oct. 21-25

 

Remind children and adults alike to walk safely! Check out PennDOT’s pedestrian safety videos:

“One Parent to Another” Pedestrian Safety

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfWJfki-AOY

 

“Walk This Way”: Pedestrian Safety for Young Children

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OMCl1PPiWc

 

August - School Bus Safety

It’s that time when school buses are everywhere. If a school bus has its lights flashing and stop arm extended, you must stop. The only exception is if you are on the other side of a highway divided by a concrete barrier or grassy median. If you are following or traveling alongside a school bus, the law also requires you to stop at least 10 feet away. Learn more about the school bus stopping law and penalties for violations at www.JustDrivePA.com.
 
 
 
 
 
Last Modified on June 25, 2014