Penn State transportation conference seeks to improve safety, reduce fatalities

December 03, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Some of the leading transportation professionals and experts in the mid-Atlantic region will converge upon Penn State to collaborate and exchange best practices during a conference in early December.

The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference will be held from Dec. 9 to 11 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. The conference — which will welcome approximately 500 attendees primarily from Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland — consists of 32 sessions in four disciplines: design, operations, safety and planning. 

Martin Pietrucha, director of the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State, said safety continues to be one of the most pressing issues facing transportation. In 2012 — the last year of data through the United States Department of Transportation — more than 35,000 people suffered transportation fatalities.

“Safety continues to be a concern, and we’re looking for better methods to identify and deal with problems, and better ways to assess whether changes are working,” said Pietrucha. “Most of the conference revolves around case studies and experts sharing techniques that have been effective in safety and operations.”

The conference will feature two keynote speakers — Robert Puentes, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and director of the program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch — who will address the attendees on Dec. 9 and 10, respectively. 

Additional noteworthy sessions include Autonomous Vehicles, which will offer a look at the issues transportation agencies face as automated vehicles enter the road; Safe Driver, which will focus on the emerging issues in driver safety related to drug-impaired drivers; and Saving Lives on Local Roads, which will show how safety issues can be addressed with collaboration between state and other agencies.  

Pietrucha hopes the exchange of information and new techniques will inspire attendees to make positive changes in their local areas.

More information about the conference, which is administered through Penn State Conferences and Institutes, is available at

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    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 03, 2015