Wednesday, Sept. 22

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Illinois puts bite in highway construction zone awareness: 'Hit a worker, $10,000 fine, 14 years in jail'     Send a link to a friend

[SEPT. 22, 2004]  Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation last month increasing the fines for motorists caught speeding in a work zone and allowing the use of cameras to enforce work zone speed limits. Fines for speeding in a work zone are now $375 for a first offense and $1,000 for motorists caught speeding in a work zone a second or subsequent time. Motorists caught speeding a second time in a work zone within two years will lose their driver's license for 90 days.

The enhanced fines and use of automated control systems are just some of the recommendations of the Work Zone Safety Task Force appointed by Gov. Blagojevich last year. Other recommendations include:

  • Better defined work zones -- Projects on multilane highways have signs better identifying the appropriate speed in a particular work zone and also when it is safe to resume normal speed.

  • Modified driver education curriculum -- A compact disc and teaching manuals have been mailed to more than 1,500 high schools and private driver education facilities.

  • New signage -- A new sign has been developed and is being placed at projects throughout the state publicizing work zone-related penalties: "Hit a worker, $10,000 fine, 14 years in jail."

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  • Enhanced use of stationary and portable changeable message boards in and around work zones.

  • More consistent-looking work zones

  • Remote-controlled flaggers -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is using federal research funds to test 20 newly developed remote flagger workstations.

  • "Trooper in a Truck" -- This program allows state police to covertly enforce speed limits, out-of-uniform and in Illinois Department of Transportation trucks.

[News release]

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