Michigan Construction Cameras: Speeding Fines To Be Mailed Soon?
The likelihood of getting a surprise in your mailbox has just increased. Michigan House Bill 4132 breezed through committee unanimously on April 11th.
If the bill makes it to Governor Whitmer's desk as written, drivers who are caught on camera going over 10 mph over the speed limit or violate other laws in construction zones will be subject to written warnings, followed by increasing fines. Under the proposed legislation, speeders would receive a warning in the mail for the first violation. A second violation within a three-year period would result in a $150 and a third would increase the fine to $300.
Cameras would automatically detect drivers going 10mph over the speed limit where workers are present. In fact, it's the construction workers who are part of the push for the legislation moving forward. Concerns for their safety and continued disregard for posted limits fuel the need for a solution.
Construction worker safety is important, but it's hard to ignore the reality that if passed, you could receive a surprise letter from law enforcement and a fine several days after the incident.
With Michigan roads already having a reputation for being...bumpy...the need for a smoother drive and fewer potholes seems higher than ever. That said, construction season in the Mitten State coincides with warm weather and increased travel. No one enjoys hitting a construction zone on their way to a weekend getaway, but if drivers were to simply slow down and embrace the zipper merge, then our commutes would speed up and the incidents of accidents would decrease.
The ACLU has voiced its concerns about these speed cameras not telling the full story. They don’t dispute the speeding violation necessarily, just who was behind the wheel at the time of incident. Authorities have addressed this by allowing the person ticketed, in this case whomever is the registered vehicle owner, to appeal the ticket. For example, if your family has two cars and you speed through a construction zone at more than 10mph over the speed limit, your spouse will be sent a violation. The car owner can appeal by signing an affidavit or testifying in court that they were not the driver or showing it was stolen prior to the violation via a police report.
Maybe the answer to avoiding highway construction traffic is to find "the backway". The scenery is better, especially here in Michigan. Backroads aren't free of delays though—just be on the lookout for deer and tractors heading to the field.