Officers to crack down on work zone speeders
Enhanced work-zone patrols on I-84 between the Garrity and Meridian interchanges have been extremely effective in reducing accidents and increasing awareness, the Idaho Transportation Department announced. In fact, incidents involving personal injury have been cut in half.
The Idaho State Police (ISP), through an agreement with ITD, has been performing enhanced patrols for several months in the 12-mile work zone.
From Aug. 15-Sept. 30, there were just 35 crashes in the work zone, down from 42 for that same time period in 2007. Of those, just five were personal injury crashes -- less than half of the 11 recorded in 2007.
"That can be attributed to a variety of reasons, such as lower speed limits (reducing the frequency and especially the severity of crashes) and greater patrol visibility and enforcement," explained Capt. Steve Richardson, region commander of ISP's Region 3 (covering the ten southwestern counties).
Idaho State Police officers issued 624 citations during those two months, and an additional 455 warnings. In addition, 31 citations were issued for DUI and another 57 for non-use of seat belts.
The enhanced patrols are provided through a subsidy from ITD's GARVEE Program Office. ITD is using GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds to expedite many local I-84 projects.
"The partnership between ITD, Connecting Idaho Partners and ISP is a critical factor in providing enhanced public safety for those using I-84 while the necessary highway construction is carried out. When we can have a greater patrol presence in conjunction with additional signing, reduced speed limits and other safety measures used in the work zone, construction workers and motorists have a much safer environment in which to conduct their work and travel," Richardson said.
Richardson added that in late 2005 a similar awareness/safety enhancement patrol was in place near Garrity for the eastbound on-ramp project, and three years removed, it still has a much better safety record than it did prior to the patrols.