State's undercover operation off track
Published 5:32 am Monday, July 14, 2003
In order to help enforce speed limits through Interstate construction zones, the state will be utilizing new laser speed detection devices along construction zones. Without a doubt, the men and women who work along Alabama's roadways, along the Interstates as well as on roads within the city limits, need to know they are working in a safe environment. Any efforts the state can make to slow drivers down is to be commended.
However, in addition to laser devices, the state will also utilize state troopers disguised as construction workers. The lasers will be designed to look like survey equipment. It is with these two points that we take exception.
Trapping drivers who are speeding through a construction zone, after they've endangered workers already, does not accomplish the goal of making our highways safer. Instead, it comes across as an effort to try and generate revenue through issuing tickets. Aside from a few announcements at its outset, the undercover operation seems punitive rather than constuctive.
A more effective solution might be to have a trooper stationed at the beginning of a construction zone. Most drivers will slow down when they see the law enforcement vehicle, immediately making the zone more safe for those working in it. Many cities already employ similar tactics, and in towns where the vehicle is moved around, it has been very effective at slowing down drivers.
Our state is in a financial bind, and if raising revenue through issuing traffic tickets is the goal, it ought to say so. If slowing down drivers in construction zones is the goal, and that is a very important one, it should take more visible measures to deter speeding as drivers enter the zone, not try to trap them as they pass through.