Crashes on I-81 stir up discussion on cable barriers between first responders, PennDOT

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A follow-up on the crash on I-81 that backed up traffic for almost four hours on Tuesday afternoon in Mechanicsburg.

For the second day in a row, units were back on 81 responding to a three-vehicle accident. New Kingston Fire Company says this incident could have been much less severe had cable barriers been in place. They say cables would have kept all three vehicles on the road.

PennDOT responded, saying: “What we think would happen is to see an increase in crashes in general. Like people who maybe are off the wheel, distracted, they can recover whereas if the cable median was there, they would bounce right off that and crash right back into traffic,” PennDOT Safety Officer Fritzi Schreffler said.

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PennDOT says they have to follow federal standards to put up the barriers and says that portion of I-81 doesn’t meet the requirements.

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