The Department of Transportation in Connecticut in conjunction with the state police plans to create a safer environment for road construction crews. In 2021, more than 900 accidents occurred in construction zones; this resulted in four fatalities.
The police now use speed cameras to take snapshots of vehicles traveling more than 15 miles per hour over the posted limit. Police will warn first offenders. Second offenders can expect to pay a $75 fine. The fine increases to $150 for third offenders.
Limited police in construction areas exacerbates the problem, says State Senator Will Haskell. "The state police are being stretched too thin. There are 19 folks in the traffic unit these days who were being asked to do the job that 62 troopers were doing in 2010."
The public dislikes so-called "photo cops;" hence, a police officer will review the images of every offense to determine intent to issue fines. Police will send notices to offenders within 30 days.
"By automating that process, I think we create another level of equity in our justice system because that camera isn't going to care about the color or race of the person driving the car," Haskell said.
One surprising group opposes the idea: the state troopers union. They express disappointed in the law, claiming that it attacks law enforcement.
If all goes well with the camera cop pilot program, Connecticut plans to roll out the entire system in 2022.