Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement systems are a vehicle or other apparatus-based system that detects the speed of passing vehicles. When a vehicle is deemed to be traveling in excess of 11 miles per hour (mph) over the speed limit or higher, the system will capture images of the front and rear of the vehicle and related information (i.e. speed limit, speed, location, date, time, etc.).

The goal of the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program is to reduce speeds in work zones, improve driver behavior, save worker and traveler lives, complement existing enforcement by PSP, and promote work zone safety.

The legislation enabling the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program in Pennsylvania was signed into law on October 19, 2018. A 60-day mandatory pre-enforcement period was completed on March 4, 2020, and enforcement began on March 9, 2020.

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement systems are a vehicle or apparatus-based system that detects the speed of passing vehicles. When a vehicle is deemed to be traveling 11 miles per hour (mph) or higher over the posted speed limit, the system will capture images of the front and rear of the vehicle and related information (i.e. speed limit, speed, location, date, time, etc.). This record and set of images make up a violation. This violation is then transferred to a back-office system where registered owner information is then obtained. If the violation passes all necessary Quality Assurance and Quality Control checks, a notice of violation is produced and mailed to the registered owner. A first-time notice of violation will be a warning carrying no financial penalty. Second and subsequent warnings will carry a financial penalty in accordance with Title 75 C.S. 3369.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement systems are required by law to be recalibrated and recertified on an annual basis. The calibration and certification is valid for 365 days from the certification date. The systems run daily self-tests to ensure all aspects of the system are operating properly at the start and end of each enforcement period. Additionally, PSP may conduct random field speed verification to ensure the units are accurately detecting speeds.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement systems are located in work zones throughout the commonwealth. Work zones are selected by a data-driven process in order to maximize the effectiveness of the systems.

Work Zones that have an AWZSE system present and active will have unique signs in advance of the enforcement area, alerting drivers to the upcoming enforcement. These signs are in accordance with the requirements set forth in Title 75 C.S. 3369.

Here is an example of the AWZSE enforcement warning sign:

Square sign with an orange band saying

No. Per Title 75 C.S. 3369, you must be traveling 11 miles per hour (mph) or higher over the posted speed limit to receive a violation.

No. Per Title 75 C.S. 3369, workers must be present for an Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement system to be in active enforcement. Workers operating behind barrier are considered to be active within the work zone.

Following several complaints, PennDOT reviewed the AWZSE deployment and discovered the work zone speed limit was incorrectly identified as 45 MPH. The speed limit in an adjacent work zone was lowered to 45mph, but the RC2 work zone remained at 55 MPH. As a result, all violations associated with AWZSE deployments on US-1 were rescinded, including warnings and fine carrying violations. See this PDF for more frequently asked questions related to the US-1 RC2 work zone.

Per Title 75 C.S. 3369, notices of violation shall be provided to a registered owner within 90 days of the violation occurring. In most cases, the notice of violation will be mailed shortly after the violation has occurred.

There is a process in place to ensure violations are mailed out in sequence. This involves determining if a previous warning or violation has been processed before mailing a subsequent violation. Additionally, zero fine first violations (warnings) are prioritized. However, it is possible that the USPS may deliver warnings and violations out of order if they occurred during a similar time period.

For a first violation, the notice carries no financial penalty and is a written warning. For a second violation, the notice carries a $75 fine. For third and all subsequent violations, the notice carries a $150 fine. These penalties are civil in nature, with no criminal implications. Points will not be assessed against your driver’s license for any Automated Work Zone Speed Limit violations.

Payment instructions are included with your violation notice. Payments can be made by mail, by phone, online, or in person at the AWZSE program Customer Service Center.

If you do not pay the fine within the 90 days of the original violation notice, the fine may be turned over to a credit collections agency for payment.

All violation notices are reviewed before issuance. All warnings contested by the vehicle owner and all second and subsequent violations are reviewed and affirmed by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Revenue from the fines collected as part of the program will cover expenditures related to the program. In the event that all expenditures related to the program are covered and excess revenue remains, that excess revenue is distributed as follows:

  • For years 1, 2, and 3 of the program:
    • 45% goes to PSP for Recruiting, Training, and Equipment,
    • 15% goes to the Transportation Agency (PennDOT or PTC) where the violation occurred,
    • and 40% goes to the Motor License Fund.
  • For years 4 and 5 of the program:
    • 100% goes to the Transportation Agency (PennDOT or PTC) where the violation occurred to develop a Work Zone and Highway Safety program.

PennDOT pays a monthly fee to the System Administrator, along with an additional cost for each 8-hour deployment.  There is no compensation or incentive based on the number of violations.

Per Title 75 C.S. 3369, the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for any penalty resulting from a violation captured by an AWZSE system.

Yes. Instructions for contesting the violation appear on your notice of violation. Requests for contest may be made by mail, online, or in person.

Hearings are only required if you are contesting your violation. Hearings are not required if you pay your fine or if you are not contesting your warning.

No. Images collected as part of this program are used only for the execution of this program. Per Title 75 C.S. 3369, images are to be destroyed within one year after a final disposition has been recorded for the subject violation, except in specific cases of court order.

The collection agency will contact you to arrange payment of the fine.

Yes, Maryland and Illinois (PDF) currently have programs.

The speed display trailers are provided as an informational tool to motorists to make drivers aware of how fast they are going.  They are entirely separate from and independent of the AWZSE program.

Truck speeding past 55 mph speed limit sign with a digital sign reading 65 mph.

No. Violations under the AWZSE program are civil violations and do not affect your driving record.

No. Fine amounts under the AWSZE program are specified under the law. Violations under the AWSZE program are civil violations with no criminal implications and do not result in jail time.

The “Active Work Zone When Flashing” sign with a flashing white light is not affiliated with the AWZSE program and is not required for AWZSE enforcement to occur. The AWZSE program requires two “Active Speed Limit Photo Enforced” advance warning signs notifying motorists that AWZSE systems are present and active. The “Active Work Zone When Flashing” sign with a flashing white light indicates an active work zone as required for criminal violations, which are issued when a police officer stops you for a violation.Truck passing a work zone sign that reads "Active Work Zone When Flashing Increased Penalties"