|Warmest Holiday Wishes to You and Yours
This holiday season I would like to extend the warmest holiday wishes and happiest new year to you and your family. May you have a wonderful and safe season that is full of peace and cheer.
Our offices will be closed on Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1. We will resume normal business hours on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Also, PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25, for Christmas, and on Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov, or through my website at RepFritz.com .
If you’re traveling, you can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Satellite District Office Hours Suspended for Winter
We will be suspending satellite office hours for January and February 2019 and resume hours of operation in March 2019. Winter can be very unforgiving and create unsafe travel conditions. Constituents can be assured that we will maintain normal hours and operations, weather permitting, in our Montrose and Honesdale offices.
For those who will need assistance from our office, you can call the Honesdale office, 32 Commercial St., Suite 300, Wayne County Visitor's Center, Honesdale, at 570-253-5533 or the Montrose office, 16501 State Route 706, Suite 2, Montrose, at 570-278-3374 and our staff will be happy to help.
Village of White Mills Given Heritage Community of the Year Award
I recently presented the Village of White Mills with a citation honoring its designation as the Heritage Community of the Year Award by the PA Route 6 Alliance at its annual meeting and “Do 6” Awards Program.
After completing a joint Heritage Community Plan with the neighboring boroughs of Hawley and Honesdale, the village has seen the addition of the Dorflinger Factory Museum and the Art Factory, two new attractions that build on the heritage of the area and complement the popular Dorflinger Glass Museum and Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Do 6 Awards honor individuals, organizations, businesses and corporations that exemplify the mission of the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance to protect, preserve and enhance the scenic, cultural, historical and recreation resources of this Commonwealth's northern tier.
Pictured from left, Myrtle Quinn, me, Beth Struble. Both of these lovely women work for the White Mills Post Office.
Elk Mountain Ski Area, A Staple of the 111th Legislative District
The 111th Legislative District is proud to host Elk Mountain Ski Area. Elk is rated the best skiing in Pennsylvania with 180 skiable acres and 27 trails. They are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with night skiing tentatively slated to begin on Dec. 26. We are always proud to highlight our impressive winter sports!
Here I am pictured at a Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (PSAA) summit with Lori Phillips (PSAA) and my colleague, Rep. Mike Peifer.
Update and Reminder on Handicapped Parking Spaces
As each of us travel to various medical, professional or business facilities and seek parking, we readily see spaces that are reserved for those with disabilities. Sadly, we also note that some people who are not properly authorized to use these spaces do use them. Such misuse shows neither proper respect for those who do have disabilities, nor for the law.
According to the Commonwealth’s parking lot construction standards, approximately 4 percent of a parking lot is allocated for parking spaces for people with disabilities and even less space is available for an access aisle. Given the limited availability of disabled parking spaces, individuals who legally hold a disabled parking placard or plate need these spaces to be protected and properly enforced.
This year the General Assembly passed Act 144 of 2018 in an effort to modernize Pennsylvania’s disabled parking laws. Specifically, the law prohibits a person from obstructing a vehicle or part of a curb ramp or the access aisle (typically marked with diagonal lines) adjacent to a parking space reserved for a person with disabilities. Violators would face a fine of $100 to $300. The law also permits municipalities and local authorities to designate a particular space on a public street for a particular person or vehicle.
Pennsylvania law authorizes towing and/or penalties for vehicles that are illegally parked in spaces marked for people with disabilities. In order to park in one of these designated spaces you must obtain and display either a person with disabilities placard or registration plate from PennDOT. These placards and plates are universal and accepted in all 50 states. You must meet certain criteria and have your disability certified by an authorized health care provider, law enforcement or a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office Administrator.
For additional information, click here. For assistance in obtaining or submitting an application for a placard or registration plate, please feel free to contact my Honesdale district office at 570-253-5533 or my Montrose district office at 570-278-3374.
Keep Kids Safe: Follow School Bus Safety Laws
There have been too many tragic stories in the news lately about children getting hit by vehicles when getting on or off a school bus. These crashes can be avoided if motorists obey the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law which requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus also must stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
A common question is whether a motorist must stop on a multi-lane highway when a bus is stopped. The answer is yes, a motorist must stop unless they are in the opposing lane of a highway divided by a physical barrier. Physical barriers include grassy medians, traditional or cable guide rails, or concrete median barriers.
Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.
Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.
New Legislative Session Begins Tuesday, Jan. 1
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will begin the 2019-20 Legislative Session on Tuesday, Jan. 1, with members taking the oath of office.
The oath will begin at noon and the ceremony will also include the adoption of House rules, election of the Speaker of the House and a joint session with the state Senate to certify election results. Live streaming of the entire ceremony will be available here.
After swearing-in, stay up-to-date on the latest news out of Harrisburg by subscribing to my legislative updates here and by following me on Facebook.
103rd Farm Show Kicks off Jan. 5
Celebrating one of Pennsylvania’s top industries, the Pennsylvania Farm Show near Harrisburg will kick off Saturday, Jan. 5. The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 12.
The Farm Show, which features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors, emphasizes the importance of agriculture in daily life, highlights the latest in ag technology and advancements, and offers attractions for all ages.
Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.
For all the latest news about the Farm Show, follow it on Facebook or visit farmshow.pa.gov.