Rob Coppersmith, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, issued the following statement following the kickoff of National Work Zone Awareness Week in Michigan:

“As construction season gets underway, the safety of Michigan’s road workers must be the top priority. In 2023, there were more than 7,200 work zone crashes in Michigan and 20 fatalities, with the biggest causes of crashes being speeding and distracted driving. It’s clear that not enough is being done to protect Michiganders on both sides of the orange barrel.

“Currently, 23 states allow the use of automated speed enforcement in work zones, but Michigan is not one of them. Speed cameras in work zones are a proven tool for reducing crashes and fatalities. By adding speed cameras to Michigan’s work zones, we can help protect our construction workers and motorists by enforcing work zone speed limits and holding drivers accountable.

“Ensuring our construction workers have safe work zones is a big reason why MITA has been heavily involved with the Michigan Work Zone Safety Task Force, an effort between the highway construction industry and the Michigan Department of Transportation focused on making work zones safe across Michigan. House Bills 4132 and 4133 would set the precedent for increased safety on Michigan’s roads by aligning our state with the 23 others that use automated speed enforcement in work zones. We hope the Michigan legislature acts quickly to help reduce deaths and protect our work zones by passing this bipartisan legislation.”