Colorado laws double work zone fines, protects truckers while chaining up

| 6/24/2008

In Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter has signed a bill into law authorizing the use of speed cameras in highway work zones. Another provision is intended to protect truckers who are chaining up.

The new law, previously HB1036, doubles fines in work zones when highway workers are at the job site. During such times, law enforcement can issue speeding tickets with fines between $60 and $540. Photo radar vans could be deployed to snap pictures of speeders.

It’s not clear how soon the state will start using photo radar in work zones. However, once the enforcement tool is put into use, signs warning of photo radar will be required to be posted four hours before the start of highway work.

The Department of Public Safety will 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 adds 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 applies 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