The track is back on track!
August 11, 2022 - Mt. Pleasant, PA
A major TIM initiative spearheaded by PennTIME is about to come to life! Officials from both the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation joined local officials in Westmoreland County today to announce that an agreement to build the Pennsylvania Safety Transportation and Research Track (PennSTART) is close to completion. Speakers at today's press event included Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian, PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) Chief Technology Officer Bob Taylor (pictured at right), Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) of Southwestern PA President Dr. Donald F. Smith Jr., Dr. Raj Rajkumar of Carnegie Mellon University, Westmoreland County Commissioners' Chair Sean Kertes.
Examples of technologies for which safety and operational testing, as well as training, could be conducted at the new facility could include:
- TIM training;
- Testing and hands-on training for new ITS, tolling, and signal equipment;
- Safe, simulated training for higher-speed and mobile work-zone operations;
- Safety certification training opportunities;
- Simulated environments for temporary traffic control device testing and evaluation;
- Smart truck-parking applications and other opportunities for commercial vehicle technology partnerships; and
- Controlled environments to test various connected and automated vehicle technologies for infrastructure equipment, fleets, and other applications.
Keep checking back for updates, and be sure to go to the official PennSTART website for more details as they become available.
Organized in 2017, PennTIME serves TIM practitioners across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is the realization of a vision first set forth in a study conducted by the Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) in 2014. The study shed light on numerous gaps in Pennsylvania's Traffic Incident Management efforts and set forth targeted recommendations for improvement. A priority among these recommendations was the creation of a statewide TIM program to provide structure, guidance, and promote consistent practices throughout the commonwealth. Key focus areas for PennTIME include:
- Assigning institutional responsibility across the state
- Improving bidirectional communication at the state, regional, and local levels
- Expanding the use of FHWA TIM Self‐Assessments
- Investing in resources to improve TIM performance measurement data
- Establishing uniform scene safety and management guidelines
- Creating towing certification and cost recovery programs
- Implementing uniform After‐Action Review procedures
- Advancing operations‐related projects that address the tenets of the National Unified Goal for TIM
- Working to advance dedicated TIM funding line items in the state budget
A TIM Summit in late 2016 brought together TIM professionals and champions from across Pennsylvania as well as other states in a collaborative environment to share information and best practices with the goal of advancing the recommendations outlined in the STAC study, and from there PennTIME was born. Key stakeholders met to begin the process of forming PennTIME in January 2017, and that was followed by the groups first meeting in April 2017. PennTIME has met on a quarterly basis since that time and has made great strides in advancing TIM efforts in Pennsylvania, and in August 2018 a formal statewide Inter‐Agency Agreement validated PennTIME's organizational structure, committees, and general procedures.
Program News & Updates
Pennsylvania TIM E-Learning
Did you know that Pennsylvania first responders can take their TIM training online? To access the training, simply go to the TRAIN PA website at https://www.train.org/pa/welcome. If you have an existing user account, you can simply log in and use the word “TIM” in the search bar to find the blended learning course. If you don’t have an account, please create one to access the course. Municipal Law Enforcement personnel can take the course through the Pennsylvania Virtual Training Network (PAVTN). Authorized users can simply go to the Virtual Training Network website at www.pavtn.net. Simply log in, click the link for "Training", and then navigate to the "Programs and Systems" curriculum to find the Pennsylvania Traffic Incident Management course (CLEO01022) The PA TIM Training has been fully vetted by the FHWA and has been granted full equivalency status. Multiple credit types have been approved including:
- Professional Development Hours (PDH) – 4 Hours
- Continuing Law Enforcement Education (CLEE) MPOETC – 4 Hours
- Continuing Education Units (CEU) – PA DOH Bureau of EMS – 4 Hours If you’ve never taken this training, now is an excellent time to get it done and get certified. If you’ve taken it before, we encourage you to take it again as a refresher and take a look at the new videos and other interactive content that has been developed for the course. We look forward to your participation in the course and receiving any feedback you may have.