Posted: Thursday, 09 February 2006 7:14AM
Photo Enforcement Vans to Patrol Chicago Work Zones
Steve Grzanich Reporting
CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) -- The Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation Thursday unveil their newest weapon in the battle against speeding motorists in highway construction zones.
WBBM's Steve Grzanich reports they're called "Photo Enforcement Vans" and starting in March they'll be stationed in work zones along Illinois highways with the mission of catching speeding motorists. Three vans will be rolled out initially. Two of them will be assigned to Chicago area expressways and toll ways while the third will be assigned to southern Illinois.
"These are vans that are able to take a photograph of a car and record its speed. They take a clear image of the car, its driver, as well at its license plate," said IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey.
Motorists who are caught speeding will get a ticket in the mail about six days later. The fine for a first time work zone speeder is $375. The second offense will cost $1,000.
Stepped up enforcement of work zone speed limits has helped to the cut the number of fatalities in those zones from 44 in 2003 to just 26 last year.
"We're not trying to ambush motorists," said Claffey. "When they photo enforcement vans are in use there will be signs stating as such. They're highly visible. They have state police and IDOT markings on them and they have speed boards that will flash and warn drivers if they are speeding."
Representatives of the Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation will unveil the vans and hold a media briefing on the program at the Chicago Auto Show Thursday.
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