Reckless Driving With Taxpayer Dollars

Pennsylvania’s move towards big government is many ways mirrored by the fleet of cars it has amassed over the last three decades. The number of cars increased from 5,700 in 1980 to 16,186. The Senate “cost cutting commission” recently discussed primarily the increase in the number of vehicles for the state.

The misuse of taxpayer money does not stop there. Numerous state employees have been in car wrecks due to drunk driving. Former Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissioner Timothy Carson wrecked his turnpike-issued car not once but twice while drunk. But he never told the commission about either incident for at least four years, until his resignation on Feb. 8.

The General Services Department relies on self-reporting and is “dependent on the honesty of the vehicle operator.” Auditor General Jack Wagner, who released an audit last year calling for stricter oversight of state vehicles says, “If an individual alone is the only one that is aware of what happened with the use of the state vehicle, there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed.” The General Services Department received 149 phone calls from the public about misuse of state vehicles, and to this date, not one vehicle has been taken away as a result of the calls. Sen. Mike Folmer has legislation to do away with this practice.