Local News

Highway Patrol Steps Up Enforcement Of Speeders In Work Zone

Posted November 11, 2003

— According to state troopers, the biggest complaint lately in the Triangle is rampant, out-of-control speeding in the Interstate 40 work zone.

Fourteen miles of the interstate, from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to the Durham/Orange county line, is currently a construction zone.

Crews do most of the roadwork at night, but whether they are working or not, the 55 mph speed limit is the law around the clock.

State Highway Patrol troopers said they are getting a lot of complaints that speeding in the I-40 construction zone is out of control and is doing something about it.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, at least one trooper does nothing else but enforce the work zone speed limit. Troopers use unmarked cars with radar facing front and back.

The driver of one car stopped received a $250 ticket for traveling 69 mph in a 55 mph zone.

"I've made this commute a lot in the last couple of years, but I didn't realize it was still a work zone. I know the barrels have been moved aside and I haven't seen anybody doing construction out here in forever," the driver said.

As long as the barrels are up, troopers said the risk to drivers is up, so the speed limit has to stay down.

"Day after day, these people just ride back and forth. You can pretty much pick your car. You can see when they're coming down. They're just speeding right by me as if I'm not even there," Trooper C.P. Harris said.

The message from the Highway Patrol to work zone speeders is simple and direct.

"If you want to take the chance and think we're not out there, we're probably going to get you," Sgt. Steve Greene said.

Work zone speeding tickets start at $250. With court costs and related charges, one pullover in the zone could cost $400 and up.

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