Colorado bill would double fines in work zones

| 6/5/2008

In Colorado, a bill atop Gov. Bill Ritter’s desk would authorize the use of speed cameras in highway work zones. Another provision is intended to protect truckers who are chaining up.

House and Senate lawmakers voted to clear the way for the bill – HB1036 – to move to the governor’s desk. It would double fines in work zones when highway workers are at the job site, which would mean that law enforcement could issue speeding tickets between $60 and $540. Photo radar vans could be deployed to snap pictures of speeders.

Signs warning of photo radar use would be required to be posted four hours before the start of highway work.

The Department of Public Safety would be authorized to contract with private vendors to operate the photo radar vans.

A fiscal impact statement on the bill reports that fines are likely to increase in these work zones by more than $3.3 million annually.

A separate provision would add road maintenance and construction vehicles to the list of personnel that state law requires motorists and truckers to maintain a safe distance upon approach. The rule is designed to protect police and other emergency personnel during roadside stops.

Of particular interest to truckers, the “move over” rule also would apply to drivers approaching vehicles pulled over along roadsides to attach tire chains.

Other violations in work zones that could result in offenders paying double fines include careless driving, driving in the passing lane and failure to signal.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Colorado in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor