The Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow “automated speed enforcement systems” to be set up in certain work zones to automatically detect and punish speeding drivers.
Introduced in February, House bills 4132 and 4133 would amend Michigan’s vehicle code to allow the state to install electronic traffic sensor systems in construction zones where workers are present, and where there’s no barrier between the workers and traffic.
In an effort to make conditions safer for road construction crews, the systems would monitor traffic to identify drivers traveling 10 mph above the speed limit. Those drivers would then be sent a warning or a ticket.
The state House voted to approve the bills on June 22. The legislation now heads to the Michigan Senate for a vote.
How the system would work
According to House Bill 4132, the Michigan Department of Transportation would work with Michigan State Police to determine if an automated speed enforcement system should be set up in a construction zone. Once set up, the system would be directly overseen by law enforcement officers.
Under the bill, signage would have to be posted one mile ahead of where the system is located to notify drivers.
The system would detect vehicles traveling 10 mph or more above the posted speed in the construction zone. An image of the speeding vehicle and its license plate would be recorded, in addition to the location and time.
After the information is reviewed and approved by law enforcement, a warning or citation would then be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. It would be assumed that the vehicle’s registered owner was driving at the time of the violation. If the owner wasn’t driving, however, they would be able to refute the claim by mailing an affidavit to the court explaining what happened, the legislation says.
First-time offenders would be issued a warning and wouldn’t have to pay a fine. The same goes if three years have passed since the driver’s last violation.
For a second offense, the vehicle’s owner would be responsible for a civil infraction, and would have to pay a $150 fine. Third and subsequent offenses would also result in a civil infraction and a $300 fine each time.
The legislation also seeks to establish the “work zone safety fund,” which would be administered by MDOT. Under the bills, some of the money received by the state for violations would go to MDOT. Once the costs of installing and utilizing the automated systems has been covered, the remaining money provided to MDOT would be placed in the fund.
The work zone safety fund would be used to increase police presence at work zones and fund traffic control devices at work zones “that provide greater protection for workers,” the bills say.
This article originally appeared in Click on Detroit. For more, click here.