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Highway work zone speed cameras closer than ever to reality in Indiana

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Crime, Government, Politics, Transportation
A proposed pilot program would allow Indiana to put speed cameras in four highway work sites across the state. (ITB495/Flickr)

Indiana is closer than ever to putting speed cameras in a few highway construction zones across the state.

A bill, HB 1015, to create a pilot program is just a couple steps away from the governor’s desk.

The pilot would set up cameras in four highway work sites. Drivers would be ticketed if they go at least 11 miles per hour over the limit, only when workers are present.

And Chad Scott said workers need that protection. Scott has worked in highway construction for nearly three decades. One of his workers was killed a few years ago. Scott told a Senate committee Tuesday that he had to deliver the news to that worker’s wife, who was working in another site nearby.

“I never want to do that again, never want to see that again,” Scott said. “And that pales in comparison to what Ashley and her three boys had to go through from that day.”

Indiana Laborers Union leader Brian Short said work zone safety is a recruitment issue too.

“Once we get one of these young kids out there and they have a near miss, they’re not coming back,” Short said.

READ MORE: House OKs bill to allow speed cameras in a few highway work zones

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Indiana State Police report that in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic volume dropped significantly, while speed increased. Since then, traffic volume has nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels – but speed hasn’t decreased.

Build Indiana Council’s Brian Short, representing road construction companies, said a key part of the pilot program will be a public awareness campaign.

“It’s going to take a little education, a little bit of awareness and knowledge for Hoosiers that this is something that we’re going to be implementing,” Gould said.

Drivers caught by the speed cameras would not be fined for their first infraction. The second ticket would be $75, with tickets after that at $150 each.

The bill is headed for the Senate floor.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.