The Indiana County Highway Safety Project, part of Indiana University Pennsylvania’s Institute for Rural Health and Safety, is working with PennDOT for an awareness campaign about safe driving and traffic safety laws during the Highway Safety Law Awareness Week, observed February 18 through 24.

From left: Indiana Borough Patrolman William Clement; IUP Police Sergeant John Bence; Highway Safety Project Director Amy Shellhammer; IUP Institute for Rural Health and Safety interns Clemence Mujawimana, Jocelyn Persin, and Lydia Vlachou.

Members of the Highway Safety Project, IUP Police, Indiana Borough Police, and Pennsylvania State Police are working to promote awareness of highway safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

The agencies have placed “Yield to Pedestrian” signs along Oakland Avenue adjacent to the Oak Grove and Johnson Hall and along Maple Street near to Zink Hall and Stouffer Hall, places where there is a great deal of pedestrian crossings.

“These signs are designed to remind both drivers and pedestrians of their legal responsibility, as well as ways to keep themselves and others as safe as possible while using the highways,” Indiana County Highway Safety Project Coordinator Amy Shellhamer said. “Many accidents can be avoided if people follow the law,” she said. “Pennsylvania has multiple laws that apply to everyone who uses the roads: motorists and their passengers, pedestrians, or bike riders, all designed keep everyone safe.”

The region covered by the Highway Safety Project includes the PennDOT District 10 counties of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson. The region includes approximately 427,000 residents who are traveling on 9,044 miles of mostly rural area roadways. According to PennDOT statistics, highway crashes continue to be a major threat to the health and safety of highway users: in 2022, there were 3,499 crashes in the region and 45 fatalities.

This project is funded from a grant secured by IUP’s Institute for Rural Health and Safety to promote safe driving, which includes pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, work zone safety, drug and alcohol awareness, and seatbelt use.

Shellhammer is available to present programming to area groups and organizations about highway safety. She can be reached at 724-357-1352 or by email at

The IUP Institute for Rural Health and Safety began in the early 1980s as the Highway Safety Center. The mission of the Institute for Rural Health and Safety is to bring together university personnel from various disciplines and professional backgrounds to assist the people of Pennsylvania and national and international organizations in solving problems related to highway traffic safety while maintaining the values of good transportation.

Applying university resources toward traffic improvement, the Institute for Rural Health and Safety is a liaison between university personnel and state and local officials; business, industrial, and professional interests; and other groups and individuals.