Illinois gets serious about work zone speed enforcement

| Thursday, June 23, 2005

Smile – you’re on construction zone camera!

Beginning July 1, officials in Illinois will enforce new, tougher rules for drivers in construction work zones. The crackdown –designed to save lives and lower speeds in construction areas – will include increased fines, the possible loss of a license and photographic speed enforcement.

According to a press release from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the State Police and the Illinois Tollway are teaming up to enforce the new rules. Under the program, first-time work zone speeders will face a fine of $375, $125 of which will go toward additional enforcement in the areas by State Police. Second offenses will carry fines of $1,000 and a 90-day license suspension.

“If you are caught speeding in a work zone, at minimum you will be looking at a fine of $375,” said IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin. “At worst, you can kill yourself, a loved one or a worker.”

As part of the Automated Traffic Control Systems in Highway Construction or Maintenance Zones Act, which was approved in 2004, police are also allowed to use specially equipped vans that will take photographs of speeding vehicles in construction zones.

The new trucks will begin rolling in July. The cameras are designed to take a clear picture of the driver and vehicle, its speed and license plate. However, the registered owner will not be liable if someone else is behind the wheel of his or her vehicle.

“Truckers assigned to work zone details will take a zero tolerance approach when issuing citations to speed limit violators,” said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent. “The message is clear – slow down. We’re serious about work zone safety.”

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