INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers are planning to reintroduce a bill that would allow speed cameras in work zones.
The proposal has been discussed for several years at the Statehouse. Last session, it made more progress than it ever had when it passed in the Senate. But it did not get a vote by the full House after it was sent to the Ways and Means Committee.
“Driver behavior has gone downhill,” said Richard Hedgecock, president of Indiana Constructors, Inc.
Hedgecock’s organization, which represents 200 companies statewide, has advocated for the bill.
The 12 other states where speed cameras are already in use “have seen the number of cars speeding in a work zone decrease from 7% or higher to 1%,” Hedgecock said.
The Statehouse proposal would create a pilot program for speed cameras. The technology would ticket drivers going at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in an active work zone, according to State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie), who has backed the bill in the House for several years.
“Technology continues to get better,” Pressel said. “And we need to figure out a way to use that technology to keep not only the construction workers safe in those highways and the interstates, but the motorists, too.”
Republicans have been divided.
“A Google search without much effort is going to show you that places around the country have had real issues with these things,” said State Sen. Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis), who voted against the bill last year.
Freeman said he has concerns about enforcement through the technology, which captures photos of license plates on speeding vehicles. He argues a better alternative is stepping up police patrols.
“We need to talk about our law enforcement, and we need to talk about do we not have enough of them, and let’s get more people in uniform and park them there,” Freeman said.
Some lawmakers in the Senate are also backing this measure. It needs to be heard in committee before going to the full House or Senate for a vote.