Safety fencing to curtail suicides proposed for bridges

HARRISBURG, June 13 – Bridges throughout Pennsylvania would have safety fencing installed on them to help prevent suicides if an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Schlossberg and adopted unanimously by the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday becomes law.

Under Schlossberg’s amendment to S.B. 564, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation would be required to consider protective fencing during the design process on bridges in locations where there is a known suicide problem.

“I am grateful to committee Chairmen John Taylor and Bill Keller for recognizing the importance of this language,” Schlossberg said. “The fencing envisioned in this amendment was a key part of the 8th Street Bridge renovation in Allentown. The 8th Street Bridge has a sad history of being the place where a number of people have attempted or completed suicide by jumping off the bridge.  Since the fencing was installed, that hasn’t happened and I have no doubt it has saved lives. By reducing a person’s access to the lethal means to complete suicide, a person has the opportunity to escape crisis and find the help they need.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to move this legislation forward.”

The bill was approved by the committee and awaits action by the full House of Representatives.