State Police Troopers targeting construction zone speeders

Published 8:41 pm Friday, July 23, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Continued speeding violations in a construction zone, located on the US-31 bypass at US-12, have caused the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation to join forces to crackdown on speeders.
Since beginning extra patrols in the work zone this week, troopers have issued more than 30 violations to motorists.
Michigan State Police Sgt. Rob Davis has already noticed a decrease in the amount of speeders due to the increased enforcement.
The Michigan State Police Niles Post has assigned more than 30 hours of overtime to this particular zone to help enforce the reduced speed limit of 60 mph.
Davis said safety is the number one priority.
The department of transportation is matching funds with the State Police to allow for enforcement coverage for an additional five to six hours a day until the completion of the project, which should be within three weeks. They are also matching funds to increase patrols in a construction zone in the area of M-60 and US-12 for the entire week.
Janet Foran, a Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson, said the department's work zone enforcement effort, which is part of the Give 'em a Brake program, identifies high impact projects and asks for special assistance when it feels the safety of workers or motorists is a concern.
One area of particular concern in the Niles construction zone is the southbound entrance on to US-31 from US-12.
Davis indicated there has been one early morning accident at the entrance ramp since construction began to replace the highway's bridge joints.
Foran said the department's work zone enforcement program has been increasing in scope each year since it began in 1999.
It has expanded from a partnership with the Michigan State Police to now include county and local law enforcement agencies.
This year funding for the work zone enforcement is up to $517,000, the highest total yet. She said motorists are much more likely to be involved in an accident when travelling through work zones.
Last year, there were 5,800 crashes in Michigan work zones and as the amount of construction continues to increase, so do the amount of accidents.
She offered a few important reminders to motorists as they enter areas where construction is being done.