By: Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation January 26, 2016 BLOG: New Plow Tracking Technology Put To The Test Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Blizzard 2016, Innovation, The Blog, Weather Safety Much of the state just experienced historic snowfall that brought, in some cases, a winter’s worth of snow over a couple of days. Thankfully, many Pennsylvanians heeded our warnings to not travel during this hazardous weather. But without being on the road, it can be hard to assess conditions, especially for those who don’t have the option to stay home.On Saturday afternoon, a PennDOT plow was the only vehicle on part of Interstate 81.This winter, we have made available on www.511PA.com the location of more than 700 PennDOT and contracted plow trucks across the state. These trucks cover mostly interstates and expressways, and are part of our Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot. While these 700 trucks don’t represent all of PennDOT’s more than 2,200 trucks statewide, making this information available is a great resource for the public.Check out the story from the Philadelphia Inquirer, and how NBC 10 in Philadelphia showed their viewers how the plow tracker works.We were very pleased to see media, customers and officials alike sharing this resource online (just search “PennDOT track” on Twitter). And the numbers show that 511PA, which also offers travel alerts, traffic cameras, alerts on speed and vehicle restrictions and more, was used by hundreds of thousands of customers. The website saw 379,000 visits from Friday through Sunday – 173,000 of those came on Saturday, making it the highest number of visits since the site launched in 2009. From Friday through Monday, more than 121,000 of the visits used the “Plow Truck” option.And, as they say, there’s an app for that! While the 511PA app primarily gives hands-free, eyes-free travel updates while you’re traveling, you can also use it before you go to check our traffic map where you can see the plow truck information. We’re still getting numbers for the whole weekend, but on Friday when the storm started, nearly 10,000 people downloaded the iPhone or Android app, bringing the total number of app users to more than 112,000!Through a weekend that relied so heavily on our services, we were glad to have another example of PennDOT’s efforts to support a Government That Works for Pennsylvania drivers. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
GECOM Chairman challengeAs the case of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha challenging the unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman continued, the applicant’s Attorney, Anil Nandlall is urging the Justices of the Appeal Court to essentially rule that President David Granger was “not above the law”. This was among several arguments put forward in further submissions by Mustapha’s Attorney, who on Tuesday warned of the dangers of being unable to judicially question the President’s actions.Attorney-at-Law Anil NandlallNandlall and Attorney General Basil Williams were required to make submissions to the court on four aspects of law ahead of the court’s decision, which is scheduled to be handed down on Thursday morning. These focused on whether the Orders sought in paragraphs iii and iv in Fixed Date Application dated October 23, 2017 or the effect of those orders can be granted by way of these proceedings; Whether Article 177 of the Constitution has any bearing on the President’s role under Article 161(2). The other questions queried: Whether the role of the Leader of the Opposition in submitting a list under Article 161(2) is restricted only to the category of “other fit and proper persons” and; whether the list is still valid, if not all six persons are deemed not unacceptable.Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and fellow Appeal Court Justices Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud are presiding over the matter. The PPP is seeking to have the Court reverse the June 2018 High Court ruling by acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, who upheld Justice Patterson’s unilateral appointment.During Tuesday’s hearing, Attorney Nandlall advanced that under the Constitution, Guyana is governed by the rule of law, adding that no one is above the law and the actions of all are judicially reviewable, including the President. The Attorney critiqued the totality of the State’s arguments which included that the President “acted rationally and reasonably” in rejecting the three lists of 18 names which the Opposition Leader submitted.Attorney General Basil WilliamsHe conceded that while the President could not be personally dragged away from his duties, his actions were reviewable. He stressed that the Chief Justice in her June ruling “never said” that President Granger was omnipotent.Earlier during the proceedings, the Attorney told the Judges that even though the President did not appear himself in proceedings, the Attorney General would be named as the proper party in the legal suit. This point was later challenged by Williams, who said that Nandlall did not cite the authority on which the AG was answerable.Williams, in his presentation, opined that the President was an “executive of one”, noting that Mustapha’s case attempted to “reduce the President” to the role of a public officer. Having made legal citations, the AG observed constitutional protections that bar the court from assuming any jurisdiction over the President.“The President is not above the law, but he is entrusted to carry out the people’s interest,” the AG submitted.Solicitor General Kym Kyte-Thomas, speaking on the point of the President’s decisions on the submitted lists, argued that the President should have been given a fair chance to make a choice among the six persons. To this end, she stressed that the “entire list” must be acceptable and must maintain its integrity.When the Chancellor interjected and asked whether the Head of State could “pick, chose and refuse”, Kyte-Thomas posited that the President’s choices must not be limited and that the six persons on the list “must not be tainted”.In October last year, the PPP’s Executive Secretary filed an injunction to have the court rescind Justice Patterson’s appointment which came days after his appointment. However, Justice George on June 8, 2018 ruled that the Constitution of Guyana allows for the President to unilaterally appoint someone to fill the position of GECOM Chair.The PPP has argued that the retired Judge was unqualified for the post, and had petitioned the court to order the President to choose a person from the 18 names submitted. The acting Chief Justice, in her ruling, had, however, stated that there was nothing before the court to support a finding that the President had acted unlawfully or irrationally in resorting to the proviso to Article 161(2); and there is nothing to rebut the presumption that Justice Patterson is qualified to be appointed to the post of Chairman of GECOM.According to the acting Chief Justice, the Opposition did not produce evidence to support the contention that Patterson was unqualified for the position. She outlined in her ruling that the President should have given reasons for his rejection of the 18 nominees submitted by the Opposition Leader. In the appeal, Nandlall, on behalf of his client, said that the learned Chief Justice misconstrued and misinterpreted the role of the Leader of the Opposition in Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and as such, was asking the court to overturn the High Court ruling.