POTTSTOWN PA – The over-sized, lighted and flashing signs at each end of the U.S. Route 422 construction zone crossing the south side of Lower Pottsgrove Township, on both its east- and westbound lanes, give drivers fair notice: vehicle speeds there must be lowered to 40 mph. That message was punctuated with exclamation marks Wednesday (April 17, 2013), as police from the township, neighboring North Coventry, and state troopers worked together to hand out 39 citations, most for speeding.
Expect the same in the future, Lower Pottsgrove Chief Michael Foltz warned. Complaints from other drivers, “observations of non-compliance” by his patrol officers, and the need to keep motorists and construction crews safe will prompt more of what he labeled specialized “enforcement details,” as well as regular patrols.
Wednesday’s efforts began at 9 in the morning. Rush-hour commuters missed the gauntlet established in the area roughly between the Route 724 and Sanatoga interchanges of 422, which is the subject of a six-year renovation by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. For four hours afterward, however, if your pedal was to the metal a troopers’ radar gun likely had you in its crosshairs.
Any speeding ticket can be expensive. It may add penalty points to a license or affect automotive insurance coverage and premiums, and it also is accompanied by fines and court costs. Drivers who cruise at high speeds through an “active” work zone significantly raise their risk: fines double, and those traveling 11 or more mph over the limit face the possibility of a 15-day suspension of their driver’s license, Foltz said.
The detail of five law enforcers worked both sides – the active (westbound) and inactive (east) zones – of the highway until 1 p.m. They caught roughly 10 speeders an hour, an average of one every six minutes. That’s far too many, Foltz lamented, and in part that’s why such details will continue periodically, he added.
“The goal of this enforcement effort is to ensure compliance with the posted 40-mph reduced construction zone speed limits,” Foltz said. Although many drivers abide by the limit and think safety first, he noted those who don’t “create hazards by speeding through the same areas.”
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