It was a good week for road safety advocates!
On Tuesday, June 20th, the House voted on HB1283 (198-5), a bill that authorizes parking protected bike lanes & pedestrian plazas, a bill that the Bicycle Coalition, Bike PGH and over 30 other organizations from across the state have been seeking passage of since 2018. The bill has passed in three previous sessions but died in the Senate. We are ever hopeful that this year, the State Senate will do the right thing and pass this life saving fix to the State’s vehicle code once and for all.
On Thursday, June 22nd, the House approved for 2nd consideration HB1284 to make the automated enforcement program in Philadelphia permanent and to expand it by making it permissible on all roads in Philadelphia that meet approval of PennDOT and City Council. The bill also authorizes speed enforcement around school zones and enforcement of failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights. A final vote from the House is expected in Monday, June 26th.
Also on Thursday, June 22nd, the Senate Law & Justice Committee voted unanimously to approve SB730, the Jay-Alert bill, to authorize the creation of an alert system operated by the PA State Police & PennDOT to notify auto body shops about fatal hit and run crashes.
All three of these bills are priorities for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia and PA Safe Roads PAC. SB730 has been championed also by the mother and aunt of Jayana Powell who was killed in 2016 in West Philadelphia on 63rd Street by a driver who hit her and left the scene, but was caught several weeks later when a worker in an autobody shop in Malvern PA reported the auto’s condition to the Philadelphia Police Dept.
While we will have to wait until the fall to know if these bills make it all the way to the Governor’s desk, it’s a major feat that they have advanced before the summer recess. We thank the prime sponsors Rep. Ed Neilson, Rep. Mary Jo Daley and Senator Anthony Williams for their hard work in shepherding these three bills forward.