Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Perhaps the Goals Are Misunderstood
Work-zone safety blitz still limited: Drivers say that new laws haven't reduced number of violations:
    Motorists complain that speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving are still all the rage in Illinois construction zones, despite tough laws the state passed last year to reduce violations.

    A camera-enforcement program to deploy Illinois State Police troopers in vans was supposed to have started this month, but officials are still finalizing contracts with equipment suppliers, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The program may begin in September, officials said.

    The plan for the pilot project involves taking photographs from inside just two roving vans to capture the faces and license plates of drivers, along with the speed of their vehicles, in work areas on hundreds of miles of Chicago-area expressways and on the Illinois Tollway system. Tickets carrying minimum fines of $375 will be mailed to vehicle owners.
An impersonal ticket arriving in infractors' mail boxes a week in the future will not make the drivers slow down or behave. Nor will signs indicating that this might happen. Troopers pulling over drivers would make them slow down for a couple days and would make other drivers who see the troopers slow down.

Hidden cameras capturing drivers' infractions but distancing the infraction from the sanction? Give me a break.

This is a revenue-enhancement program, not a safety program. And this is the reason why I'm going to fly to Milwaukee or travel through scenic Iowa on my way home in the future. Because I fear speeding through more than one of the Illinois "Construction Zones" (that is, the barrel storage technique that intersperses a couple barrels miles apart between construction zone signs) at a time and coming home to a mailbox full of budget-gap-closers from Rod Blagojevich.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."