By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A State Representative has a proposal that would allow Pennsylvania drivers seek compensation from the commonwealth for damages to their cars caused by potholes.

Representative John Lawrence, from the 13th District, told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that if the potholes linger unfixed for too long, the government has some culpability in the problems they cause.

“We’ve had two brutal winters in a row and the result is a bumper crop of potholes. People have been complaining, we’ve had potholes since the Roman Empire. This is nothing new but the particularly brutal back-to-back winters that we’ve had here has resulted in a situation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. You drive the same roads I drive and there have been potholes on some of these roads for, we’re not talking about days or even weeks, some that I’ve reported myself, it’s been a month and they still need to be addressed. That led to the idea of, well maybe you should be able to file a claim against the state if you’ve suffered damage to your automobile.”


He said other states have set up successful programs that alleviate the burdens caused by defective roadways.

“It’s as simple as filing a claim with the state. You have to file some evidence, some pictures, etc. In Ohio, the information I have here is over the past five years, they’ve paid out about a half million dollars in claims. They pay out, apparently, about 55-60 percent of the time, so not all the claims are paid. There are some protections in place to protect against fraud or people who are just looking to make quick buck.”

Lawrence stated this problem has gone on for far too long and something needs to be done.

“At some point it crosses the threshold. If there’s been an egregious situation that needs to be addressed, it’s been there for a month, and there hasn’t been action, and you suffer, I’ve had folks who’ve called the office [with] a thousand or two thousand dollars worth of damage to their automobile, that’s something we should take a look at.”