What to Know
- Delaware State Police and DelDOT are activating speed cameras along a stretch of I-95 in Wilmington.
- Drivers going too fast through the construction zone will get a ticket mailed to them.
- The goal of the Electronic Speed Safety Program is to get people to slow down in the work zone, which has seen an increase in crashes over the past couple years.
Every mile per hour that you speed in a work zone on Interstate 95 in Delaware will soon cost you more.
The state's pilot Electronic Speed Safety Program will soon go into effect, and speed cameras will be looking to catch drivers going too fast in the work zone area of I-95 in Wilmington.
And the fastest speeders will pay the most. In addition to the base fine, the ticket will be $1 higher for every mile per hour over the limit.
Transportation and Transit
"The goal of the pilot program is to reduce work zone speeds and crashes, change driver behavior, and improve work zone safety for workers and motorists," DelDOT said in a news release.
You likely have some questions about this new speed camera program. Here are some answers:
When Do the Speed Cameras Get Turned on?
DelDOT said the pilot program begins on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. It will only be in effect in the I-95 work zone in Wilmington through the end of the construction project, which is set to end in the fall of 2023.
When Will Fines Begin to Be Issued?
There is a 30-day grace period for speed violators. After that, speeders will get a warning mailed to them for the first violation. Each speeding violation from then on will result in a fine sent through the mail.
What Exactly Will Happen Once Speed Cams Are Active?
The cameras -- one posted in both the southbound and northbound directions -- will read the license plate on the front and back of a vehicle and record the time and speed of the driver. The registered owner of speeding cars can then get tickets in the mail within 30 days.
DelDOT plans on moving around the speed cameras, so don't think you will always know where the cams are posted.
How Fast Do I Need to Be Going to Get a Ticket?
If you go a few mph over the posted speed limit, you won't get a ticket. You have to be going 13 mph or more over the posted speed limit to get ticketed. Officials said that threshold falls in line with other states' automated speed cam policies.
What Is the Minimum Fine for Speeding?
The base violation is $20, but with other fees (going toward the Transportation Trust Fund Surcharge, Fund to Combat Violent Crimes and Volunteer Ambulance Company Fund) and a $1-per-mph-in-excess rate (more about that below), the minimum ticket is $74.50, according to DelDOT.
So Fines Go Up for Each MPH Over the Speed Limit?
Yes, this is how DelDOT describes the escalating fine:
"For example, if the captured violation occurs at a speed of 58 mph, the speed violation is $20.00 plus an additional $13.00 which accounts for $1.00 for each mile per hour over the 45-mph posted work zone speed limit, and the assessment of other fees as set forth in Delaware Code for a total of $74.50."
Will There Be Any Points Added to License?
No. These are civil penalties only. Insurance companies won't be made aware of the speeding violation, DelDOT said.
What If No Construction Is Taking Place at the Time I Drive by?
If you speed, you are subject to a fine 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Why Is There a Need for the Speed Cams?
"We continue to see motorists traveling at speeds well above the posted speed limit and too many crashes are occurring in the construction zone," Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski said. "We need to utilize all the tools available to reduce crashes, and this program is about protecting everyone's safety."
Officials have seen an increase in crashes long the I-95 construction zone. There were 423 crashes in the I-95 work zone in Delaware in 2021, a 49% increase from 2019, DelDOT said.
"The sharp increase in collisions within the construction zone has been concerning and has put the motoring public and individuals in the work zone at risk," Delaware State Police Col. Melissa Zebley said. "Recognizing that construction zones are problematic areas to conduct traditional speed enforcement, we believe this program will encourage motorists to slow down for the sake of the highway workers and their fellow motorists alike."
DelDOT spokesman C.R. McLeod summed it up like this:
"For the most part, people have really just ignored the posted 45 mph speed limit and not just by a little," McLeod said. "Traffic exceeded 70 mph or higher."
Who Operates the Speed Camera Program?
"Conduent, Inc. is DelDOT’s 'turnkey' vendor, who owns, operates, and maintains the ESSP camera equipment and citation/violation collection system," according to the Restore the Corridor website. "DelDOT’s Office of the Secretary and Traffic Engineering Section are responsible for all engineering, safety, and policy decisions--not Conduent. Delaware State Police is responsible for reviewing and validating all citations."
You can find answers to even more questions by clicking on this Q&A.