HARRISBURG: December 2008 – Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said troopers and motor carrier enforcement officers who work on busy roadways have an added measure of protection now that they have new, high-visibility safety vests for directing traffic and carrying out other duties.
“These bright yellow vests will enhance officer safety because they can be spotted easily by drivers from a distance,” said Pawlowski, who added that a study by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute found that about 50 police officers, firefighters and rescue personnel have been struck by vehicles while performing duties along roads this year.
“Working in traffic can be dangerous,” said Pawlowski. “Troopers who direct traffic, investigate crashes, conduct safety checkpoints, and handle lane closures are expected to wear these vests. Additionally, though, I urge all drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when encountering any emergency vehicle stopped along the road.”
About 3,000 vests were distributed last month to members of the department’s patrol units, collision analysis and reconstruction specialist units, forensic service units and motor carrier enforcement units. Another 2,800 vests are expected to be purchased during 2009 so that every trooper and motor carrier enforcement officer has a vest.
Federal regulations that went into effect last month require anyone working along a highway to wear a high-visibility vest that meets the requirements of the American National Standards Institute/International Equipment Association.
The vests, which cost $43 each, are being purchased with federal grant money.
Pennsylvania State Police
Public Information Office
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110