Indiana News

Panel votes to bring speed cameras to Indiana highway work zones

Panel votes to bring speed cameras to Indiana highway work zones

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In selected work zones on Indiana highways, a camera could one day capture an image of speeding drivers’ license plates if a measure approved by a state Senate committee advances.

Drivers’ penalties would arrive at their home by mail, the bill says. The full Senate could advance the measure early next week.

State Sen. Jon Ford, a Republican from Terre Haute, said, “This would create a pilot program to put speed cameras in occupied work zones. The burden would be on the state to make sure there are occupied work zones.”

Ford says Indiana Department of Transportation could have up to four pilot program locations with speed cameras on interstates. “It would catch a picture of your license plate and then would mail you a civil penalty with a picture of your license plate,” Ford said.

The bill says motorists would get the penalty for traveling 11 mph above the work site’s speed limit.

According to INDOT, in 2018, police data showed that 14 people died and more than 650 were injured in crashes in highway work zones.

In regard to the proposal, David Frye of the Indiana Laborers District Council said, “For us, it is about going out, doing a day’s work and going home in the evening. It’s about we’re strictly family men. We want to go home. We want to see our kids when we get home. It is A-1 important that we slow people down, to slow down the risk of workers getting hit.”

Before the committee advanced the bill in a 7-2 vote on Tuesday, some lawmakers voiced concerns with the proposal.

Sen. Phil Boots, a Republican from Crawfordsville, said, “I just hate that our government is watching us all the time and is going to now start mailing a ticket to us.”

Boots said a speeding ticket once got mailed to him with a picture of a semi with an Iowa license plate that matched his Indiana plate.

“I don’t think the machine is the right way to go,” Boots said. “I think we need personal interaction so that I know I can identify you with your driver’s license. I can identify you as a face-to-face individual as opposed to just take a picture of a license plate and saying, ‘Here’s a ticket.'”