Work Zone safety cameras coming in Spring 2008
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Contact: Alice Fiman, WSDOT Communications, (360) 705-7080
Mike Dornfeld, WSDOT Traffic Operations, (360) 705-7288
OLYMPIA – WSDOT will begin a six-month pilot project for the 2008 Construction Season to see how new technology can slow drivers to make work zones safer for workers, drivers and passengers.
This spring, drivers will see signs around the state when Automated Traffic Safety Cameras are looking for drivers speeding through work zones. The program was authorized by the 2007 Legislature.
WSDOT will take speed studies before and after the camera equipment is deployed in each location and report back to the 2009 Legislature. Part of the report will include comments WSDOT received about the program.
“We are trying something new to see if we can get drivers to slow down and make the work zones safer,” said Mike Dornfeld, WSDOT Traffic Operations. “These cameras are just part WSDOT’s mission to keep drivers and workers safe on the road and traffic moving.
“There will be outreach to the public to let them know when the cameras are coming,” he said. “Our goal is to get drivers to voluntarily slow down in the work zone, not issue a bunch of infractions.”
There are close to 2,000 traffic incidents each year in state highway work zones. While the high-profile incidents are decreasing, those smaller incidents that block traffic and cause minor injuries keep going up.
Between 2001 and 2006, fatal work zone collisions decreased by 41 percent, but possible and no-injury collisions have increased by close to 60 percent, from only 686 in 2001 to 1,097 in 2006. The top two reasons for work zone crashes are speeding and inattentive driving. And, one of the top collision types in work zones is the rear-end collision.
“Drivers need to pay extra attention and slow down in a work zone as the driving conditions may not be what they see on a typical day.” Dornfeld said. “We do everything we can to get the work done quickly, but it’s important to remember, there will be a long-term benefit to all our road projects.”
The cameras will be mounted in a small sport utility vehicle or van parked next to the highway. An operator will check the equipment and then the speed radar and camera goes to work, catching the rear license plate of vehicles speeding through the work zone.
The cameras are just part of WSDOT’s “Give ‘Em A Brake” program, to promote the protection of workers out on the job. But you can also give yourself a break by driving carefully in the work zone. Remember that it takes approximately 200 feet for you to stop your car when you’re traveling at 60 mph.
Tips for Driving in a Work Zone:
• Observe the speed limit (60 mph) and don’t do anything except drive while you’re in the work zone.
• Don’t use your cell phone,
• Don’t eat or drink
• Don’t change CD’s or radio stations.
• Don’t tailgate! Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
The article says it uses RADAR, so I guess the V1 will be getting a work out!
But again, another program like Red Light Cameras that has nothing to do with "public safety" and "reducing speed", but is more about REVENUE! They figure people are going to speed, so why bother having cops pull them over (which stops the infraction and provides a visual deterrent to other drivers) when instead they can just issue tickets after the fact and collect the money. Hell, they could even issue multiple tickets to the same driver by having more than one photo camera in a single work zone!
Orwell was right, he was just wrong about the year....