Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) uses portable systems (either vehicle- or other apparatus-mounted) to detect and record vehicles exceeding work zone posted speed limits by 11 miles per hour (mph) or more using electronic speed timing devices (radar or nonradar). Based on the findings and recommendations of a November 2012 report (PDF) issued by the State Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), in 2018 the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted legislation (Act 86 of 2018) to pilot an AWZSE program within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The initiative is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

In maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges, there is increased exposure to work zones for the traveling public, roadway workers and pedestrians. Work zones often include lane closures and narrow or shifting lanes with travel conditions that may change on a daily or weekly basis. In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities. In 2018, 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. With increases in distracted driving and continued speeding in work zones, additional safety measures are necessary. The purpose of the AWZSE program, as enacted, is to:

Reduce speeds in work zones

Improve driver behavior

Save worker and traveler lives

Complement existing enforcement by the PSP

Promote work zone safety

The AWZSE program is managed by PennDOT and the PTC with the assistance of a contracted Program Administrator. The Program Administrator is responsible for assisting PennDOT and the PTC with the development, sustainability, and administration of the program.

Deployments of AWZSE systems in work zones are provided by a contracted System Administrator. This System Administrator is responsible for providing AWZSE equipment, data collection services, and violation appeals processing.

The Pennsylvania State Police is responsible for reviewing and affirming select violations. Violation notices that have been reviewed and affirmed to by PSP will include an official seal and text affirming the violation. PSP also provides field speed and quality control testing.