January 12, 2022
The Delaware Department of Transportation is set to begin phasing in a speeding enforcement on a stretch of Interstate-95 that runs though a large work zone in Wilmington, officials said.
The Electronic Speed Safety Program will be active only in the I-95 construction zone in Wilmington, with one northbound camera and one southbound camera to detect drivers who exceed the 45 mph speed limit.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 17, the first 30 days of the program will serve as a warning period. After 30 days, warning notices will be sent to motorists for first violations, and all subsequent violations will result in a notice being sent with a fine based on the degree of the violation.
Once the program takes full effect, all registered vehicle owners will receive a base fine of $20 with an additional amount added for each mile per hour over the posted work zone speed limit, plus additional fees in accordance with state law.
If the captured violation occurs at a speed of 58 mph, for example, the speed violation will be $20 plus an additional $13 for every mile per hour above the 45 mph speed limit. On top of that, additional fees bring the total fine in this example to $74.50.
Added fees on a violation notice come from a surcharge for the Transportation Fund, the Fund to Combat Violent Crimes and the Volunteer Ambulance Company Fund, according to a summary of the program.
The program stems from a spike in crashes that occurred along the I-95 work zone in Wilmington in 2021. There were 423 crashes in the I-95 work zone in Delaware last year, an increase of 49% in the same area from 2019.
"We continue to see motorists traveling at speeds well above the posted speed limit and too many crashes are occurring in the construction zone," said Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. "We need to utilize all the tools available to reduce crashes, and this program is about protecting everyone's safety."
Failure to pay fines or contest them in court will result in late payment penalties of $10 for every 30 days a payment remains overdue, up to $30. If a fine is not paid within 120 days, the the unpaid citation will be forwarded to the State’s third-party collections agency.
All violations in this program are civil penalties only and no points will be assessed to driver's licenses.
The program was established to improve safety as part of the "Restore the Corridor" project along the Wilmington Viaduct, a state transportation project that includes the repair of 19 bridges, I-95 pavement and ramps within the project limits. Major construction on I-95 began in February 2021, with capacity reduced by a lane in both directions for the duration of the two-year project.
"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," said Colonel Melissa Zebley of the Delaware State Police. "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."