Media Advisory – MADD Calls on Pennsylvania General Assembly to Require Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) will announce the findings of its first-ever Ignition Interlock Report and to join Senator John Rafferty and Representative Keith Greiner to urge the Legislature to pass SB 290 and HB 278 to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.

Tuesday, March 15
12 p.m. press conference                 

Capitol Media Center
Harrisburg, PA


Drunk driving victims, legislators and MADD

  • Chris Demko of Lancaster, whose 18-year-old daughter Meredith was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender in 2014.
  • Natalie Parkinson of Pittsburgh, whose 26-year-old daughter Renee was killed by a drunk driver in 2007.
  • Senator John Rafferty, bill sponsor
  • Representative Keith Greiner, bill sponsor


In 2014, 345 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have the opportunity to pass a life-saving law that would require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, which have reduced drunk driving deaths by up to 50 percent in other states.

Across the nation, ignition interlocks have prevented 1.77 million drunk driving attempts. They are working in Pennsylvania, and expanding their use to all drunk drivers will save lives.

MADD supports ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers because using these in-car devices protects the public while allowing offenders to keep their jobs and continue with their daily lives. 

VISUALS:     In-car demonstration of an ignition interlock immediately follows.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT: Becky Iannotta (202) 600-2032 or

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads.  Learn more at or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.


Delay and Delivery of Transportation Projects: Follow-up hearing

Senate Transportation Committee

Monday, February 8, 2016


Room 8 E-B


Delay and Delivery of Transportation Projects: Follow-up hearing

Welcoming Remarks (11:00am-11:05am)

Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.

Honorable Leslie S. Richards, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (11:05am-11:25am)

Honorable Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Former Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (11:25am-11:45am)

Closing Remarks


Senate Panel Hears Testimony on Efforts to Safely Transport Crude Oil on PA Rail Network

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a joint hearing today in Harrisburg to hear testimony on ways to improve the safe transportation of energy products along Pennsylvania’s rail network.

The Committees heard testimony from representatives of the Governor’s Office, energy companies, rail companies, emergency responders and the Public Utility Commission regarding efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to derailments and other rail freight accidents.

“This hearing has been vital in gathering information on how energy products, including crude oil, are moved through Pennsylvania, how local, state and federal governments can work together to address rail safety, and what resources are needed to protect communities,” said Senator John. Rafferty, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.  “We were interested to learn more about safely moving these products across the state and work swiftly and proactively with various stakeholders to implement new safeguards.”

“Transportation by rail is obviously really important,” said Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.  “The United States is blessed with all of the energy possibilities that it has, but we need to get all those products to market.  Rail is one way we can get those products to market.  As Committee Chairmen, Sen. Rafferty and I are continuously working to ensure that these products are shipped safely and efficiently across the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania has the most operating railroad companies of any state, with a total of 57 across the state – ranging from the largest Class I railroads, moving long trains of goods along busy main line tracks to small “short line” railroads that may serve a short list of industries in a small area, moving a few cars at a time.

While testifiers emphasized that North America’s rail networks moves almost all of its hazardous material shipments to their destination without incident, they said that coordination, planning and being prepared are crucial to prevent accidents.

Testifiers also said proactive efforts are being made by government agencies, the railroad companies, the oil industry and emergency response agencies to avoid a major loss of life, the impact of a serious environmental disaster and to minimize considerable energy and utility losses.

They emphasized that Pennsylvania needs to take comprehensive approach to prevent train derailments, comply with new federal guidelines and give first responders the knowledge and tools they need to respond to incidents.

“In recent years, we have seen significant increases to U.S. oil and natural gas production improve economic growth and promote energy independence,” Rafferty said.  “We now need to continue implementing sound policy decisions to secure a prosperous Commonwealth for the decades ahead.”

“Through communication, cooperation and coordination we can make rail transportation even safer and provide assurances to communities that we have good plans in place to address this important issue,” Yaw added.


For more information, contact:

Adam Pankake, Executive Director, Sen. Yaw
(717) 787-3280

Nolan Ritchie, Executive Director, Sen. Rafferty


Media Alert – Senate Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing on Emergency Response

The Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery), will hold a public hearing on emergency response to vehicle accidents.  The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building in the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg.

The hearing will be streamed live at and


Nate Spade
(717) 787-1398