Aug. 02, 2018

Ensuring Safety of Recalled Vehicles

With more vehicles being the subject of nationwide recalls, a new law taking effect on Aug. 27 will require all new and used vehicle dealers licensed in Pennsylvania to disclose, in writing to used vehicle purchasers, the existence of any open, unrepaired recalls.

Under Act 59 of 2018, a dealer would be in compliance with the disclosure requirement by providing the used vehicle retail purchaser a report obtained from the website, or a successor website, based on a vehicle identification number search.

Consumers would still have the option to pursue civil action if a dealer fails to disclose existence of open recalls.
Purple Heart Day to Honor Wounded, Deceased Soldiers

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who are wounded or killed during service. It was created by Gen. George Washington, whose appreciation of the importance of the common soldier in any campaign impelled him to recognize outstanding valor and merit by granting a commission or an advance in rank for the person concerned.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 1782, he was ordered by the Continental Congress to cease doing so – as there were no funds to pay the soldiers, much less the officers. Deprived of his usual means of reward, he searched for a substitute. On Aug. 7, 1782, he created the Badge of Military Merit, later to be known as the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart has since become the oldest military decoration in the world still in present use.

To further honor our country’s heroes who have been wounded or killed in action, I supported a resolution designating Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in Pennsylvania. Approved by the House on June 22, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to honor its military veterans wounded and killed in combat by becoming a Purple Heart state.

I am hopeful this designation will gain attention and encourage every American to pause at some point during the day on Aug. 7 and think about the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have suffered injuries and given their lives in the advancement and protection of our freedom and all that we hold dear.
New Law Requires Protective Fencing on New Bridges

After a woman was seriously injured by a large rock thrown from a bridge over Interstate 80 in Union County in 2014, a new law seeks to protect drivers, their passengers and pedestrians from debris thrown from bridges and overpasses.

Act 65 of 2018 will require PennDOT to include protective fencing in the construction of new state-owned bridges and install protective fencing on any existing bridge at such time that a major renovation is required and the bridge is located over an interstate highway.

The new law also mandates fencing on bridges where instances of suicide or attempted suicide have occurred.
PennDOT Wants to Hear From You

To help reduce crashes and fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways, PennDOT is asking drivers to participate in the department’s 2018 Behavioral Survey.

The five-minute survey asks about seatbelt use, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, speeding and distracted behaviors.

The survey is open until Friday, Aug. 17, and all responses, including comments, are completely anonymous.

Once data is compiled, the department will review the results for potential additions or adjustments to the department’s safety efforts.

For more information on PennDOT’s highway safety efforts, visit
Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

Drivers are reminded of a voluntary program aimed at saving the lives of residents in emergency situations. Participation in the program is free of charge.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update the information as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information. 

The Emergency Contact Information program can be used in vehicle crashes and other emergencies.