Iowa Department of Transportation
 


News Release

July 1, 2008

Contact:
Elizabeth Baird, Office of Policy and Legislative Services
515-239-1641
elizabeth.baird@dot.iowa.gov
or
Steve Gent
Office of Traffic and Safety
515-239-1129
steve.gent@dot.iowa.gov

 

 

  Fines for work zone violations increase today

AMES, Iowa - In an effort to increase the safety of road workers and the motoring public, fines for speeding in a work zone increase today in accordance with House File 2651, signed April 25 by Governor Chet Culver. The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Iowa Council 61, Associated General Contractors of Iowa (AGC) and Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) joined forces in support of the legislation as another step in the protection of highway workers, enforcement personnel and motorists in Iowa.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, over the last 10 years, the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes annually in work zones has increased by 45 percent. Each year, more than 40,000 people are injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes in work zones.

Through visits to the Iowa DOT's maintenance facilities, Iowa DOT Director Richardson learned of many close calls where workers narrowly escaped injury. One employee, Bob Hubbard from the Grimes maintenance garage, spoke to a legislative committee on the safety hazards that highway workers face daily. In his 18 years working as a highway technician with the Iowa DOT, Hubbard has been struck by a moving vehicle four times. “My biggest concern is, will I be able to walk away the fifth time,” said Hubbard.

Under the new law, the penalties for speeding in a work zone are:

  • $150 for up to 10 mph over the posted speed limit.
  • $300 for speeds from 11 through 20 mph over the posted speed limit.
  • $500 for speeds from 21 through 25 mph over the posted speed limit.
  • $1,000 for speeds in excess of 25 mph over the posted speed limit.

Under current law, scheduled fines for moving traffic violations committed in a road work zone are doubled. Under the bill, doubled fines will continue to apply for moving violations other than speeding. The law applies to state, county and city public roads and both public road workers and road workers employed by contractors will benefit from the safety measure.

The Iowa DOT will be replacing the existing “Fines Double In Construction Zones, Road Workers Give ‘Em A Brake” signs currently located along state highways in Iowa with new signs, which are manufactured at the DOT's sign shop in Ames.

A total of 243 signs will be installed: 84 located on interstates and expressways and 159 on the primary (two-lane) highways.

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