|Industrial Hemp Research Underway
This week, I had a rewarding look at one of Pennsylvania's industrial hemp research plots at Penn State University. The work that was done to get my legislation on this issue (Act 92 of 2016) signed into law was well worth it! This marks the start of an industrial growth that can aid the Pennsylvania economy.
Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians
School bells will be ringing soon, as students prepare to head back to class in the coming weeks. Now is a good time to refresh our memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles.
Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.
Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.
Click here for more information and tips for school bus safety.
Get the Facts about Concussions
With many student athletes back at school for fall sports practice, it’s a good time for students, parents and coaches to be vigilant at preventing, recognizing and managing concussions.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people whose brains are still developing.
In 2011, the Safety in Youth Sports Act was signed into law in Pennsylvania, requiring all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student athletes with concussions, as well as requiring related training for coaches.
Visit the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov and search for “Traumatic Brain Injury” for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources.
Most importantly, if you think your child has a concussion, seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach and don’t allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is joining the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving enforcement campaign from now through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Troopers will conduct high-visibility patrols and DUI checkpoints, with a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired driving.
During the three-day Labor Day holiday enforcement period in 2016, PSP investigated 704 crashes statewide, including 61 crashes involving alcohol, and four alcohol-related fatal crashes.
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania vary based on several factors, including an individual’s criminal history, blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and whether or not there were injuries or property damage in the event of a crash. Potential consequences include thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension and even prison time. The most significant cost is the loss of life.
People are urged to always drink responsibly and make a plan to get home safely.
Batter Up! 511PA Website Helps Travelers to Little League World Series
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has launched a web page, 511pa.com/LLWS, to provide real-time travel and alternate-route information to assist motorists traveling to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Aug. 17-27.
The new page, hosted through the department’s 511PA.com traveler information website, is dedicated to monitoring traffic conditions on the primary travel routes to the event. Travel times and alerts are listed for: Route 15 south to Route 220 to Market Street; Route 15 north; Interstate 80 east to Route 220 north to Market Street; and I-80 west to Route 15 north.
The page includes the average travel time for the primary route, as well as one or two alternate routes. Users can see incidents, construction, weather forecasts and alerts, traffic cameras, and traffic speeds on the map. Maps showing traffic trends on each day of the event in the previous three years are also available.
In addition to Little League World Series information, motorists can use 511PA.com to check conditions on nearly 40,000 roadway miles in Pennsylvania. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.