With traffic accidents up 49% since Restore the Corridor work started in Wilmington, DelDOT says it will begin using speed cameras to ticket those who aren’t following work zone rules.
The Electronic Speed Safety Program will start Monday, Jan. 17, and only be in effect in Wilmington until the end of the project, a press release said Monday evening.
Use of automated speed enforcement was granted by the Delaware General Assembly in Section 142 of the fiscal year 2022 Bond Bill as a pilot and only for Restore the Corridor work zone, the press release said.
The program is designed to reduce work zone speeds and crashes, change driver behavior, and improve work zone safety for workers and motorists.
“We continue to see motorists traveling at speeds well above the posted speed limit and too many crashes are occuring in the construction zone,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski in the press release. “We need to utilize all the tools available to reduce crashes, and this program is about protecting everyone’s safety.”
The state said there were 429 crashed in the Restore the Corridor area in 2021, up 49% from the same numbers in 2019.
The program will see tickets mailed to registered vehicle owners whose speed exceeds posted limits. Each will have a base fee of $20, with additonal charges based on speed.
For example, if the violation occurs at a speed of 58 mph, the speed violation is $20 plus an additional $13, which accounts for $1.00 for each mile per hour over the 45-mph posted work zone speed limit, and the assessment of other fees as set forth in Delaware Code for a total of $74.50.
The violations are civil penalties only and no points will be assesses to driver’s licenses.
The first 30 days of the program will be a warning period.
Col. Melissa Zebley of the Delaware State Police said the rise in the number of work area collisions puts workers and drivers at risk.
“Recognizing that construction zones are problematic areas to conduct traditional speed enforcement, we believe this program will encourage motorists to slow down for the sake of the highway workers and their fellow motorists alike,” she said.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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