Increased enforcement, fines take effect this weekend in Md. highway work zones

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Motorists who speed through highway work zones in Maryland will soon pay more if they get caught.

A new law that takes effect Saturday increases the current $40 fine to $80. The new fines are only temporary.

Beginning January 2025, the penalties increase, ranging from $60 to $1,000. The tiered system implemented next year will be based on vehicle speed. The fines will double if highway workers are present.

The new fines and use of automated speed cameras were part of  a series of recommendations made last year by a work group charged with finding ways to reduce deaths on state roads and highways. Suggestions by the panel, led by Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D), a former transportation engineer, were incorporated into SB 479 and the identical HB 513.

Both bills were signed into law in April by Gov. Wes Moore (D).

The work group was commissioned by Moore following the March 22, 2023, deaths of six highway workers, including a father and son, in a work zone on a stretch of Interstate 695 in western Baltimore County.

On average, there are roughly 300 work zones on highways around the state.

Last year, the state recorded a total of 610 roadway-related deaths. It was the first time in nearly two decades that the state reached that grim milestone. A dozen of the deaths that year, including the six on I-695, involved in crashes in work zones, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

So far this year, eight people have died in work-zone crashes, the agency reported.

There were nearly 7,200 work-zone crashes in the state between 2018 and 2022, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. Forty-four people died in those crashes and another 2,769 people were injured.

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