ODOT partners with Medford Police to enforce construction speed zones
MEDFORD, Ore. —
For the first time in Southern Oregon, or anywhere outside of the Portland area, local law enforcement is out patrolling construction zones to catch anyone breaking laws and more importantly endangering lives...
"Our workers are just like everyone else. We want to have a safe work zone," said Gary Leaming, spokesperson for ODOT.
Day in and day out road crews not only pave better roads for us but also endanger their lives while doing so.
"You'll see workers are very close to the white line. That's not a zone of safety, that's a huge zone of danger. There's no bubble there to protect people," said Leaming.
It's why road crews have clear construction zone signage.
"If you see orange barrels or cones that's your cue to slow down. Whatever you're doing that's distracting you, stop," said Leaming.
But the visual cues haven’t been enough to slow drivers down and now ODOT has asked Medford Police for backup.
"By having a van there you have a presence for the duration the van's there," said Sgt. Don Lane, from Medford Police.
A speed enforcement van is now stationed at the Medford Viaduct Project between the north and south interchange because of the added danger level in that area.
"You're on an elevated platform and you're very close to the traffic that's traveling on I-5 still because you have it open," said Sgt. Lane.
So, for those not watching their speed, cameras will be, and it'll hurt your wallet.
"Be aware that with a construction zone the fines are doubled. So that means if you're traveling 11-20mph over the posted speed limit, which is 40mph during the construction, you're looking at a $365 citation. That's just for 11-20 over," said Sgt. Lane.
Medford Police has already caught vehicles going 50 miles over the speed limit.
Police say it's so necessary because this summer there's already been one fatality and one injury for road crews working throughout the state of Oregon.