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Pennsylvania Officials Post Digital Transportation Survey

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has a new website where motorists can take an anonymous survey on wearing seat belts, driving while talking on a cellphone and other safety-related issues.

by Borys Krawczeniuk, The Citizens' Voice / July 31, 2020

(TNS) — Pennsylvania transportation officials want to know drivers’ opinions on wearing seat belts, driving while talking on a cell phone and other safety-related issues.

The state Department of Transportation has set up a website where motorists can take an anonymous five-minute survey. The address is

“We use the results of the survey to adjust our safety activities that we work on to reduce crashes and fatalities,” said Jennifer Kuntch, the PennDOT spokeswoman who handles safety issues.

The activities include messages on electronic boards to encourage seat belt use and avoid driving while on a cell phone and beefing up enforcement of traffic laws. PennDOT also spreads safety messages through social media and public service announcement on television and radio stations.

The agency receives about $18 million in federal money to promote safe driving in various ways, Kuntch said.

This survey, the 11th annual, includes questions about impaired driving, seat belt use and following speed limits.

Last year, more than 10,000 responded, the most ever. PennDOT hasn’t publicly published the full results in previous years because the number of responses was too low to matter statistically.

If PennDOT continues getting a response like last year, “we will revisit the idea of sharing results publicly,” Kuntch said.

The agency does offer some results.

Last year, 52.4% said they favor making failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense; 33.8% opposed it. Making failing to use a seat belt a primary offense would mean police could pull drivers over for that, without requiring another traffic offense first.

About 90% said they always wear a seat belt and never drive while impaired.

Only 14% said a hand-held cell phone distracted them in the last month, but 38% said adjusting the radio or climate controls distracted them and 37% said something outside their vehicles did.

“I read through the survey results just to see if there’s anything there that can guide the type of messaging that we put out,” Kuntch said. “The results are not surprising from year to year.”

State Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Avoca, the Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee, urged people to answer the survey.

“The opinions of drivers are an important component of shaping PennDOT policy especially with rapid technological changes,” Carroll said.

©2020 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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