Indiana looks at ticket cameras, reckless driving, cable barriers

January 12, 2022

Keith Goble

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Multiple bills introduced at the Indiana statehouse are focused on improving road safety.

Two bills cover the use of ticket cameras along certain stretches of roadway throughout the state.

State law now authorizes fines of $300 to $1,000 for speeding in work zones. Statute does not allow nor prohibit the use of speed cameras.

House and Senate bills would authorize the use of cameras in highway work zones to enforce speeds.

Sponsored by House Roads and Transportation Chairman Jim Pressel, R-Rolling Prairie, HB1035 calls for vehicle owners to receive $75 fines in the mail for exceeding the posted speed by at least 12 mph. Devices would be in use when workers are present.

Signs would be posted ahead of the work zones warning drivers about camera enforcement.

A fiscal impact statement attached to the bill shows an average of 1,800 guilty verdicts in Indiana were entered for speeding in a work zone annually over the past six years.

Ticket revenue would be distributed to the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana State Police.

Lt. Brad Hoffeditz, Indiana State Police legislative director, told the House Roads and Transportation Committee one year ago the department believes it would be more effective to have an officer stationed in a work zone rather than employing a camera.

“The thing we teach day one in traffic law is the best way to gain voluntary compliance with the laws is to be present,” Hoffeditz previously testified.

The bill is in the House Roads and Transportation Committee.

A nearly identical bill, SB179, is in the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee. The Senate version would authorize fines up to $150 for exceeding the posted speed in work zones by at least 11 mph.

Reckless driving

A pair of bills focus on excessive speeding affecting road safety on roadways throughout the state.

One House bill, HB1138, covers instances when a person is found to be driving “recklessly” at a speed more than 24 mph above the posted speed limit.

Violators would face fines up to $500 and 60 days in jail.

Young drivers under age 18 found to be driving more than 24 mph above the limit and who cause injury to another person would face up to $5,000 fines. Additionally, offenders would face the possibility of having their driving privileges suspended. A juvenile court would decide on the matter.

The Senate version, SB168, sets the same penalties for violators who “knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly” drive more than 24 mph over the posted speed.

The bills are in committee.

Cable median barriers

One Senate road safety bill covers the placement of median carrier barriers.

Indiana law now requires the placement of a steel cable-barrier system in a median that is less than 60 feet wide along a highway. Cable barriers also can be installed in areas based on cross-median crash history and through an assessment of the risk for cross median crashes.

SB201 would revise the rule to require cable barriers to be installed between highway lanes that are less than 65 feet wide.

The Indiana Department of Transportation reports there are 1,355 miles of state highways with medians less than 65 feet wide that could require the installation of cable barriers.

A fiscal impact statement attached to the bill estimates a cost up to $203 million to install cable-barrier systems on highways with medians that are less than 65 feet wide.

The bill is in the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Indiana.

 

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.