Slow but steady progress on legislation to protect road workers

Late last month, a Michigan Senate committee advanced legislation to enable the use of automated technology to enforce speeding laws on segments of roads under construction.

Pennsylvania became the latest to join dozens of other states employing the technology, with positive results.

This week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast revisits the issue with conversations with two advocates for safer work zones.

Listen now:

TMT - Slow but steady progress on legislation to protect road workers

Rob Coopersmith

First, Rob Coppersmith, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), talks about how his experience in the underground and road construction industries have informed his views and passions for the protection of workers.

Juan Pava

Later, Juan Pava, Safety Programs Unit chief, Bureau of Safety Programs and Engineering at the Illinois Department of Transportation, talks about his state’s pioneering role in implementing the use of cameras to deter drivers from speeding in work zones.

Michigan House Bill 4132 passed the lower chamber in June 2023 with bipartisan support and received similar support in the Senate Transportation Committee last month.

Key points:

  • In 2006, Illinois became the first state to authorize the use of automated traffic enforcement programs to enforce speed limits in highway work zones, with implementation coming a few years later. The enabling legislation provided a legal framework for photo enforcement of speed limits in highway work zones.
  • In summer 2022, some Michigan lawmakers, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials, leaders in labor organizations, and the road building industry witnessed demonstrations on Michigan freeways on how the technology works.

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