The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration Office of Traffic and Safety worked with several partners to develop an automated speed enforcement (ASE) program for work zones on the state’s controlled access highways. The program’s goals are threefold:
- Change driver behavior using an integrated 3-E approach
- Promote awareness of speed-related safety issues
- Enhance worker and motorist safety by the reduction of or normalization of speeds in work zones
ASE vehicles are deployed at selected work zones on expressways and controlled access highways with minimum posted speed limits of 45 mph and clear worker exposure and motorist hazards. The program employs conspicuous advance warning signs, including a speed display trailer.
Citations are only issued at 12 mph or more over the posted speed limit, and the ASE system is continuously manned during deployment. The system is tested prior to and after each deployment.
The camera on board the ASE vehicle captures the rear license plates of vehicles in violation. After a two-part review by the vendor to verify the violation and match the DMV data to the vehicle image, each citation is reviewed and approved or rejected by a law enforcement officer. Violators are fined in the amount of $40 and there are no points on the driver’s license. Citations are printed and mailed out, and violators may process payment or request a hearing date to contest the citation.
After a successful pilot program in 2009-2010, the long-term program was established and continues to operate. To date, more than 2.5 million citations have been issued. Approximately 83% have been paid. The current program includes seven enforcement vehicles, each with double deployments five days per week. Vehicle assignments are rotated based on work zone activity.
The program has reduced the percentage of drivers exceeding or excessively speeding over the enforcement threshold. The number of crashes has also gone down.