May 5, 2022

Fleet Focus: Pennsylvania Turnpike

Every day, hundreds of thousands of emergency responders and workers do critical life-saving work on roads and highways across the country. Our Fleet Focus series highlights just some of the day-to-day experiences of these workers and what they see and experience while working in the field. This Fleet Focus features Todd Leis from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.


About Pennsylvania Turnpike and Todd Leis

My name’s Todd Leis and I work for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. As part of the Turnpike Commission, my job is the traffic incident management coordinator so I focus on safety. Number one thing is our worker safety and our customer safety. I’ve had this role since 2015, but I have worked for the Turnpike since 1999. 

Our Turnpike maintenance covers 567 miles of roadway from 23 maintenance sheds. Pennsylvania Turnpike runs west to east, south to north, with some western spurs in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania. The Turnpike serves western, eastern and southern Pennsylvania. 

Dangers on the Turnpike

On Pennsylvania Turnpike we want to protect our motorists and we want to protect our workers. Every day our workers face struck-by incidents, that means somebody is not paying attention, they are a “D Driver”. A “D Driver” means drunk, drugged, drowsy,  distracted, and just plain dangerous. They’re not paying attention, they’re not looking out of the windshield so when our workers are out there helping a motorist or doing maintenance patterns, which involves setting up signs to treat the roads or do something with the roadway, they face dangers. 

Struck-by incidents is a huge problem for emergency responders as more and more emergency responders are struck each year. In 2019 in the United States, 44 emergency responders were struck and killed. In 2020, those numbers shot up to 46. In 2021, 65 emergency responders were struck and killed in the United States, including 2 in Pennsylvania. So far as of April 21st, 22 emergency responders have been struck and killed in the United States including 3 here in Pennsylvania.

Digital Alerting and Safety Cloud

The way digital alerting works is it lets the motorist know that something is up ahead before they reach that. Think of it as an audible, and also a visual alert that gives you that protection and lets the responder or the maintenance worker be able to put that alert out very very quickly without them being exposed to traffic and they are able to put a message up right away. 

Since January of 2020 with the HAAS Alert devices we have equipped in our vehicle we have processed over 4 million alerts, letting motorists know our motorists are on the side of the roadway. This has significantly reduced the number of struck-by incidents and near misses we’ve had in our vehicles. That’s the number one priority for us, we want our workers to go home at the end of the day and we want our workers to be safe, and our motorists to be safe.

Book a Demo

Interested in Safety Cloud and digital alerting for your fleet? Click below to see for yourself how Safety Cloud can lower the chances of a collision by up to 90%. 




Tag(s): Fleet Focus

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