Warning Period Begins Tuesday, August 19th
(August 7, 2014) – In an ongoing effort to improve work zone safety, the Maryland State Police (MSP) and the State Highway Administration (SHA) will deploy the Maryland SafeZones Automated Speed Enforcement system at the bridge improvement project on northbound US 13 (Ocean Highway) over the Pocomoke River at the Worcester / Somerset County line. The SafeZones program began 2010, however this is the first time work zone speed cameras will be used on the Eastern Shore.
Maryland SafeZones automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras will be deployed on the US 13 Bridge over Pocomoke River beginning Tuesday, August 19th. A 21-day warning period will follow, and MSP will authorize citations starting Tuesday, September 9. The speed limit in the work zone is posted at 45 mph. Drivers excessively speeding by 12 or more miles over the speed limit, or 57 mph or more, face a $40 civil citation.
“Work zones present dangerous conditions and challenges that require extra concentration and slower speeds,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Considering four out of five people injured or killed in work zone crashes are vehicle occupants, not workers, it benefits everyone to obey work zone speed limits.”
Maryland SafeZones supports SHA, MSP and Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MdTA) in the statewide effort to improve work zone safety. Mobile enforcement vehicles rotate among designated construction zones along controlled access highways with posted speed limits of 45 mph or higher. Large signs are in place in advance of the work zones to alert drivers of automated speed enforcement use. Crews will also place a “speed trailer” to display the posted speed limit and drivers’ speeds in advance of the enforcement vehicle.
“Unfortunately in the short time this project has been active, we’ve seen a number of rear-end crashes, indicating speeding and inattentive driving behaviors in the US 13 work zone. SafeZones is a tool proven to lower speeds and influence safer driving in work zones, where there is little or no margin for error,” said District Engineer Donnie Drewer. “With safety as our number one priority, we’re hopeful that the addition of automated speed enforcement enhances the safety of those working along US 13, as well as those traveling through the work zone.”
Where SafeZones has been deployed, speeding violations have decreased by more than 90 percent. ASE is currently deployed in 13 other work zones in the State. For more information, please visit www.safezones.maryland.gov.
The $14.4 million US 13 over Pocomoke River rehabilitation project is part of SHA’s bridge preservation and replacement program. The project includes installing a new bridge deck along the northbound bridge and resurfacing the southbound bridge. Additional work will include steel beam repairs, painting for preventative maintenance, and repairs to the bridges’ concrete piers. During construction, lanes are reduced from two to one lane in each direction to manage traffic flow. Estimated completion of the project is late fall 2015, weather permitting.
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!