Update: The Maryland SafeZones automated speed enforcement program in the work zone on US 340/US 15 between I-70 and Mt. Zion Road in Frederick County has been postponed slightly. The three-week warning period will begin on or after Tuesday, November 5, and citations will be issued beginning on or after Tuesday, November 26. The start was rescheduled to allow additional time for motorists to adjust to the 55 mph speed limit throughout the work zone. The work zone is located in an area where the existing speed limit changes from 55 mph to 65 mph. For safety and consistency, the speed limit throughout the work zone area will be posted at 55 mph.
(October 15, 2013) – In an ongoing effort to enhance work zone safety and protect work crews, drivers and passengers, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) today announced the addition of the work zone on US 340/US 15 between I-70 and Mt. Zion Road into the Maryland SafeZones program. This automated speed enforcement program has proven to deter speeding and prevent crashes in work zones.
The speed limit in the work zone has been reduced to 55 mph (normally 65). Vehicles equipped with speed enforcement cameras will be deployed on US 340/US 15 starting Tuesday, October 22. A three-week warning period will continue through Monday, November 11. Citations will be issued starting Tuesday, November 12.
The work zone is the site of a project by the developer of the Jefferson Technology Park to construct a new interchange that will serve the planned development. Completion of the interchange is anticipated summer 2014.
Maryland SafeZones is a joint program of the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority and SHA. It uses photography and laser tehnology to document speeders, and a Maryland State Police trooper or Transportation Authority Police Officer certifies all violations. For the first three weeks, warnings will be mailed to violators. After that, if a vehicle is recorded excessively speeding by 12 mph or more over the 55 mph speed limit, a $40 civil citation will be mailed to the registered owner.
Large signs in advance of the work zones alert drivers of automated speed enforcement use. Crews also place a radar-equipped sign that vehicle speeds, along with the posted speed limit, in advance of the enforcement vehicle.
The addition of the US 340 work zone will bring the list to three work zones in Frederick County and more than 10 work zones statewide actively using the automated speed enforcement technology. The use of ASE is safer for police officers as well as travelers than traditional enforcement in work zones where there are high speeds, reduced or no shoulders and changing traffic patterns.
Since Maryland law enforcement began using speed cameras in highway construction areas, work zone-related crashes, fatalities and injuries reached a more than 10-year low: Fatalities in work-zone crashes decreased by more than half from nine in 2009 to three in 2012. In the same timeframe, people injured decreased from 827 to 640 and overall work zone crashes decreased from 1,685 to 1,392.
Speeding violations in SafeZones construction sites have decreased by more than 80 percent. When the program began, approximately seven out of every 100 drivers in SafeZones construction areas were exceeding the speed limit by 12 mph or more; today, fewer than two drivers out of every 100 are receiving citations. To learn more about the Maryland Safezones program, visit http://safezones.maryland.gov
While SHA and its partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert – look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don't follow too closely. Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For everyone!
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