Do Fines Double In Work Zones Without Workers?

Monday, July 27th 2009, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It's no secret that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has a lot of construction projects in the works.  And, with all those projects come a lot of signs, including one that says fines are doubled for speeding.  Does that mean your fines double even if workers are not on the road?

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it's simple:  slow down and pay attention and you won't have to pay a fine.   The signs are big and bright and the message should be loud and clear. Fines are doubled for speeding.

"It is frustrating for people and we know that. We identify that nearly everywhere you go on the Tulsa interstate system some construction, some sort of construction ongoing," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

But, there is a gray area and the signs can be confusing.

 Do the fines double if you speed and there isn't a worker in sight? 

"The law is very clear, in and around active construction zones," said OHP Lt. George Brown.  "The key word there is active. The zones are set up with signs, road closure signs, detour signs and construction zone signs, and when workers are present, that becomes an active zone."

An active zone means workers must be present for the ticket to double.  Otherwise, you'll face a regular ticket for speeding.  The minimum speeding ticket can cost about $200 in an active work zone.  That can be a hefty price tag for not giving construction crews a brake.

The doubled fines are meant to act as an incentive for drivers to slow down in the name of safety.

"We're asking people to go out and risk their lives trying to get the road conditions in better shape," said ODOT's Paul Green.

And, expect to slow down to 45 miles per hour when driving through the orange cone zones.

"Well, 45 is just a good speed for people to travel through, still make good progress, but slow down enough that they can pay attention a little closer," said ODOT's Paul Green.

"We know that people travel down the road and have a lot on their mind, work and personal issues, but focus on your driving habits, watch those signs and most importantly, slow down for the workers," said OHP Lt. George Brown.Lt. Brown says that often times just because you don't see a worker that doesn't mean they aren't there. So the best advice is if you see orange, slow down.