A bill in the Michigan House would clear the way for the use of automated speed cameras in work zones on roads and highways under certain conditions.
Currently, 17 states and Washington, D.C. have laws like this in place.
The Michigan Department of Transportation said the state has more than 100,000 miles of road.
House Bill 5272 would allow automated speed cameras to record drivers going over the speed limit.
“Around the state, there’s going to be a lot of construction going on, especially with those transportation funds coming. That’s going to increase more projects throughout the area,” said Team Elmer’s Communication Director Tonya Wildfong. “So, we just want to make sure people are staying safe and aware in that work zone. We don’t know much about this legislation in particular, but we do want to make sure that any work zone is safe, and we’re doing things to make that happen.”
Michigan’s Infrastructure and Transportation Association said there were more than 4,000 work zone crashes in 2020 – leading to more than 1,000 injuries and 14 deaths.
MITA has come out in support of HB 5272 as it makes its way through the Legislature.
“I think we need to continue to remind ourselves that these are everyday people that we’re driving past. Unfortunately, a lot of citizens believe that construction is just an inconvenience to them,” said MITA Vice President of Government Affairs Lance Binoniemi. “But our neighbors, our friends and family are all working within those zones. And well it’s not an inconvenience to them, that’s their job. That’s their livelihood and we want to keep them safe.”
Michigan’s House Fiscal Agency reported the bill has provisions that would pay for the cameras without using taxpayer money.
The Fiscal Agency said the cameras could even make money with an increase in speeding ticket revenue.
This story appeared in Up North Live. For more, click here.