LANSING, Mich. — Over the past 5 years, road construction in Michigan has become increasingly more dangerous for workers. A new bill in the Legislature aims to make their job safer and remotely catch speeding drivers.
In 2020 alone, there were 4,035 work zone crashes in Michigan, including 14 deaths and 1,050 injuries, according to data compiled by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
On Monday, our FOX 17 cameras caught several drivers traveling well over the 60-mph reduced speed limit in the construction zone on I-196 near Grand Rapids. Meanwhile crews nearby were busy working on the ongoing project ahead of winter.
“People are in a hurry these days and may not think about those workers that are within those zones,” says Lance Binoniemi, VP of Government Affairs with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
“As we've studied different ways in which we can protect our workers within those work zones, we found that 17 other states have adopted a way to capture speeders through camera enforcement within the work zones, and they have shown some extremely positive results in slowing speeders down and preventing repeat offenders,” Binoniemi explained.
Michigan House Lawmakers are looking into a bill (HB 5272) which would allow the use of automated speed cameras in work zones.
The cameras work by sensing a speeding vehicle, snapping a picture of the license plate and forwarding it to police, who can then send a citation and fine to the driver.
“There's a lot of transparency on where these are located, what times they're there, so that if people want to avoid that construction zone, they can. It’s not a money grab, it's an attempt to slow people down,” says Biononiemi.
If you do slow down when passing road work, you’d have nothing to worry about.
“Construction season is winding down but we need to remember when we get ramped back up in the in the spring to just slow down and think of those individuals and their families,” Biononiemi added.
The bill was introduced in the state House last week, co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.