Program Overview

Goals

Driving too fast for conditions is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. Driving too fast for conditions reduces a driver’s ability to safely navigate through and react to work zone conditions, like slow-moving construction vehicles entering and exiting the work area.

With that in mind, the goals of the Maryland SafeZones program are to reduce excessive speeding in work zones, improve driver behavior and attentiveness, and promote work zone safety. The Maryland SafeZones program not only safeguards workers but also protects drivers and passengers traveling through construction zones.

In work zones where deployed, automated speed enforcement has been effective in slowing traffic, evidenced by the drop in citations issued at these work zones.

Program History

Transportation Article §21-810became effective on October 1, 2009. This law allowed the use of automated speed enforcement systems to fine drivers exceeding the posted speed limit by 12 mph or more in work zones along controlled access roadways with a 45 mph or higher speed limit.

On October 1, 2009, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and the Maryland State Police (MSP) launched a pilot automated speed enforcement program. Following the success of the pilot program, the long-term Maryland SafeZones program was launched on July 1, 2010.

Current Program

The long-term Maryland SafeZones program began on July 1, 2010

Speed enforcement through the Maryland SafeZones program is conducted using laser technology and cameras mounted on enforcement vehicles. All citations are verified by MSP or MDTA Police, depending on the location of the work zone.

Maryland SafeZones enforcement vehicles rotate among eligible work zones throughout the State. As new eligible projects begin, other work zones are added to the program.

Advanced signage alerts drivers of the posted speed limit and that there may be automated speed enforcement in the work zone. Additionally, a speed display trailer posts the speed limit and provides a digital reading of approaching vehicle speeds in advance of the enforcement vehicle. The intent of the speed display trailer is to prompt drivers to check their speedometers so that they can reduce their vehicle speed if necessary.

On June 1, 2024, several legislative changes took effect:

  • The civil fine increased from $40.00 to $80.00.
  • Automated speed enforcement is permitted in all work zones, regardless of roadway classification, where the posted speed limit prior to implementing the work zone, is 45 mph or greater.
  • Operators do not need to be present in the work zone while the automated speed enforcement system is in use.
  • Multiple automated speed enforcement systems may be implemented and used within the same work zone. If a work zone has more than one automated speed enforcement system in use, no more than one citation may be issued to the same registration plate for violations that occur within a 1-hour period in that work zone.