HARRISBURG – Legislation to require the installation of protective fencing over Interstate highways was unanimously approved today by the state Senate, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), sponsor of the measure.
Senate Bill 564 establishes a freestanding act entitled the “Bridge Fencing Safety Act” to provide for installation of protective fencing on certain state-owned bridges by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
The bill authorizes PennDOT to include protective fencing in the construction of “new bridges and erect protective fencing on any existing bridge at such time that a major renovation is required and that the bridge is located over an Interstate highway.”
“I’m grateful for my colleagues for supporting this measure,” Yaw said. “This bill will undoubtedly improve the safety of our transportation infrastructure and help further protect pedestrians and motorists alike.”
In 2014, Sharon Budd, of Uniontown, Ohio was a passenger in her family’s car traveling through Yaw’s District on Interstate 80 when a rock plunged from an overpass, smashed through the windshield of her vehicle and struck her in the face. She suffered serious head injuries. Budd’s husband, Randy, was instrumental in lobbying to have Pennsylvania law changed to require added fencing on overpasses.
“Sadly, this is just one of many incidents reported across the Commonwealth where objects have been repeatedly released from overpasses. The problem continues to be danger as evidenced by recent events,” Yaw added.
On September 20th, three people in Berks County were arrested in connection with a case of rock-throwing that damaged at least three vehicles on Interstate 78. The juvenile suspects have been charged with propulsion of missiles, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal mischief, all misdemeanor offenses.
Senate Bill 564 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff