Big brother could be watching speeders in Pa. construction zones

Motorists on I-95 in Philadelphia get notification that work zone speed limits will be enforced. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Motorists on I-95 in Philadelphia get notification that work zone speed limits will be enforced. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

PennDOT is turning to speed enforcement cameras to slow down drivers in work zones.

Starting Monday, U.S. Route 1 in Philadelphia and Bucks County, the Blue Route near Harleysville in Montgomery County, and Route 309 near Sellersville in Bucks County are scheduled to get the camera treatment first. Other highways are expected to follow.

Jennifer Kuntch of PennDOT says the cameras will be very clearly marked, with roadside or overhead digital signs. Such warnings have been on highways in the region, even those not included in the initial enforcement.

A vehicle-mounted radar camera will take a picture of anyone driving too quickly through work zones. The white Jeep equipped with the camera will have signs on it as well.

“If a vehicle is found going 11 miles or more over the speed limit they will receive a violation in the mail. The first violation is a warning, the second violation is a $75 fine, and the third and subsequent violations is a $150 fine,” Kuntch said.

Kuntch says drivers will not get “points” on their license for the violation.

“The whole goal of this program is safety, for everyone’s safety. It’s not just about our workers,” she said. “In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes that led to 23 fatalities, the majority of which were motorists themselves.”

Officials also promise to post the locations at workzonecameras.penndot.gov.

This program to enforce speed limits in work zones is different from a general speed camera program planned for U.S. Route 1, commonly referred to as Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia. That effort is targeting parts of that roadway where pedestrian deaths are most common.

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