Bridge safety fencing bill heads to governor

HARRISBURG, June 23 – Legislation that includes language offered by Rep. Mike Schlossberg that would require bridges throughout Pennsylvania to have safety fencing installed on them to help prevent suicides is on its way to the governor’s desk.

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.

“The fencing installed during the renovation of the 8th Street Bridge in Allentown is an example of what we’re envisioning for other bridges across the state,” Schlossberg said. “Before the fencing was installed, the 8th Street Bridge had a sad history of being the place where a number of people attempted or completed suicide by jumping off the bridge. I have no doubt that the safety fencing installed on the renovated bridge has saved lives.

“I am grateful that my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives and the state Senate recognize how important it is that we reduce a person’s access to the lethal means to complete suicide, because then we can help them find the opportunity to escape crisis and get the help they need.”