PennDOT to drivers in construction zones: Smile, you're on camera

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA. (KYW Newsradio) — To drivers passing through road construction zones in the Philadelphia area, PennDOT has two words of advice: Slow down! Starting Monday, PennDOT is lighting up its automated speed cameras in selected work zones across the region.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement technology has been undergoing two months of testing, PennDOT's Brad Rudolph says state police — who will monitor the camera feeds and administer fines — are ready to go.

Drivers will see warning signs posted as they enter the work zones. A camera attached to the system will record a driver's speed. If it's 11 mph over the posted limit, that driver is tagged.

"The system basically captures a picture of the front and rear of your vehicle," Rudolph said. "The vehicle's owner is responsible for any infraction — which is a civil penalty, it's not a criminal offense. There's no points."

Rudolph says state police administrators will review the data and approve the ticket sent to drivers in the mail, along with the date and time-stamped photo of their vehicles.

"The bottom line: We want to save lives with this system. It's very important that people slow down in work zones. We hope that this will change their behavior," Rudolph said. 

He says he expect drivers will do just that after they get their first fine in the mail.

"And, not just slow down at the work zones where these are located, but slow down in all work zones. Really."

Drivers get one warning, he says. After that, the state police will issue a violation notice carrying a $75 fine.