Be sure to smile, speed cameras approved for state work zones

Apr 6, 2023, 8:47 AM | Updated: 9:57 am

Speed cameras...

Be sure to smile if you’re speeding through a state highway construction zone. Speed enforcement cameras are on their way. (AP Photo/File)

(AP Photo/File)

Be sure to smile if you’re speeding through a state highway construction zone. Speed enforcement cameras are on their way.

Governor Inslee has signed a bill that will allow the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Washington State Patrol (WSP) to put up automated speed enforcement cameras in work zones.

More Chokepoints: Remember WB I-90 construction backups? Guess what, they’re back

The bill received unanimous support in both the Senate and House of Representatives, with the need for these speed cameras becoming more apparent due to an uptick in traffic collisions on all roadways, including in work zones.

“Folks working on our state highways deserve to do so with the peace of mind that they will end their shift by going home to their families and loved ones,” Sen. Marko Liias’s (D-Everett) said. “These workers are acting every day to ensure our highways are safe for commuters, and we have a duty to keep them safe as well.”

They can only be put up on state highways, including freeways, and they will only be active when workers are present.

Lawmakers want to cut down on the types of accidents that nearly killed Adam Gonzalez, a WSDOT worker sitting in his attenuator truck protecting a work zone.

“The oncoming driver hit me going 70 miles an hour,” Gonzalez said at the bill signing. “Head, shoulder, and hip bashing the steering wheel. I suffered a concussion. I’m fortunate enough to be alive. If I hadn’t been there that night, my crew would most likely have been killed by that reckless driver.”

And it’s not the only time Gonzalez has been hit by a driver while in a work zone.

“I was glad it was me that got hit, not them standing on the road,” Gonzalez said. “I wish I could say this was it, but this is one of two or three crashes I’ve been in.”

In total, 60 WSDOT workers have been killed in work zones.

WSDOT data shows there were 283 minor injury crashes, 28 serious injury crashes and five fatal crashes in work zones in 2021 alone.

The state has a year to get this program up and running. The cameras are expected to be online in July 2024.

Pictures will only be taken of the car and license plate, and infractions will be sent to the registered owner. Signs must be posted informing drivers that they will be entering a work zone enforced with automated cameras. The state must also install “your speed is” signs prior to the work zone.

The money generated from the infractions will go to paying for the system. Anything over that will go to traffic safety education and funding DUI emphasis patrols.

Local News

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Washington man climbing Mount Rainier dies near summit

A Washington state man who was trying to summit Mount Rainier this week collapsed and died near the top of the mountain.

2 days ago

biden crisis averted...

Zeke Miller and Chris Megerian

Biden celebrates a ‘crisis averted’ in Oval Office address on bipartisan debt ceiling deal

President Joe Biden celebrated a “crisis averted” in his first speech to the nation from the Oval Office Friday evening.

2 days ago

Ferry cancellations...

Micki Gamez

Ferry cancellations, delays causing frustration among island residents

Island resident Valerie McKnight says she's frustrated with the ferry system because of hefty delays and daily cancellations.

2 days ago

Montlake SR 520 closed...

Nate Connors

Montlake Boulevard SR 520 on-ramps, exits closed this weekend

SR 520 will not be accessible via Montlake Boulevard over the weekend, as both on and off-ramp access will be closed.

2 days ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Two Northshore elementary principals on leave after alleged cocaine use

High on cocaine with a loaded gun – that’s what Redmond police say they saw when they confronted a local elementary school principal at a QFC.

2 days ago

Nordstrom patagonia lawsuit...

Bill Kaczaraba

Patagonia accuses Nordstrom of selling fake merch, files lawsuit

Patagonia is accusing Nordstrom of selling fake merchandise and has filed a lawsuit against the Seattle-based department store chain.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Be sure to smile, speed cameras approved for state work zones