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Safety Citizens Program

Become a Safety Citizen by partnering with PennDOT in encouraging others to practice safe behaviors on the road. This virtual community outreach program invites Pennsylvanians to express their creativity while responding to traffic safety questions posed bi-monthly. Every other month, we'll request a response using a different medium such as video, poem, drawing and more. Selected responses will be shared on PennDOT's social media platforms.

We Want to Hear from You!

Not all vehicles on the road are the same size, so it is up to drivers to be aware of the challenges this presents. What are some dangerous behaviors you look out for while driving passenger vehicles, large trucks or buses? 

This month participants are asked to create a video or submit original art telling us how you drive safe while sharing the road with vehicles of all sizes.

Kid Challenge: Draw a picture of a car and a large truck sharing the road and submit a digital copy to Safety Citizens.

Submissions Due June 30, 2022

Commercial Vehicle Safety

Vehicles of all sizes possess unique qualities that drivers might not be aware to watch out for. Commercial vehicles often have heavy loads or are oversized. This means they might take turns wider, drive slower on back roads, and have increased blind spots. It is important for drivers to not only be aware of these challenges but to also avoid engaging in aggressive driving behavior.

Drivers can improve safety when sharing the road with commercial vehicles by following some safety tips:

  • It takes almost double the amount of time for a commercial vehicle to stop, so be sure to give them enough room to slow down.
  • Commercial vehicles often have a no-zone. These are big blind spots where the driver cannot see you. A good rule of thumb is if you can see the driver in their side mirror, they can see you.
  • On back roads, you may be stuck behind a commercial vehicle driving slowly. Do not pass it if you cannot see clearly in front of you, if the road curves, if you are within a “No Passing Zone”, and if you are within 100 feet of any intersection.
  • Commercial vehicles need extra room when making turns. This means they may cross over lanes while turning. Pay close attention and wait for them to turn to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Be aware that when approaching railroad crossings all commercial vehicles are required to stop. 

These are some general guidelines that can be applied to all commercial vehicles. However, you might also come across more specialized vehicles, such as buses, which add additional risks to watch out for. School buses, for instance, will make frequent stops throughout their route. It’s important to remember these steps to avoid crashes.

  • Flashing lights and a stop sign extended from the bus signify the bus and surrounding motorists should stop.
  • When a school bus is stopped with the flashing lights and stop sign extended, all motorists behind and in opposite lanes are required to stop. (The only exception is if there is a physical barrier separating oncoming traffic.)
  • Once all children have safely crossed, the bus lights have stopped, and the sign has retracted then it is safe to proceed.

Applying these, and other general road safety tips will help ensure safer travel for all drivers.

Submissions

  • Video responses should be no longer than 30 seconds with a file of size of no larger than 50MB. 

  • Original artwork should be submitted as a PDF, JPG, or PNG and the file should be no larger than 30MB. 

  • PennDOT reserves the right to not post a submission for any reason. If a submission is not used for a particular reason the participant will be contacted and given the option of sending a new submission. 

  • All submissions must be the original work of the submitter and must not infringe on the rights of third-parties, including but not limited to, intellectual property rights. By participating in the program, the participant accepts responsibility for any third-party intellectual property claims which may arise from the submission and agrees to hold PennDOT harmless from such claims.

  • PennDOT does not provide financial assistance for supplies, materials or other items associated with this program.


  • Submit Content

Past Topics:

Teen Driver Safety, Impaired Driving, Highway Safety Laws, Distracted Driving, and Many More!

Thank you everyone for your submissions! If you would like to view all the previous posts search #SafetyCitizens on Twitter and Facebook. 

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