Mixed public reaction after ArDOT announces new speed enforcement devices

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - An Arkansas law looking to put a stop to speeding in work zones takes effect Aug. 1.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation released images of a new device to be used in work zones on interstates to try and combat speeding.

ArDOT said the device can use radar to detect speed, then send information to an officer sitting down the road.

The officer can use the camera’s information to issue a driver a warning or citation.

Lawrence County Sheriff Tony Waldrupe said he’s seen firsthand how dangerous work zones can be and is glad to see new technology to help make the zones a little safer.

“We’ve had some situations before where workers were injured or fatally killed,” Sheriff Waldrupe said. “Any kind of equipment that will protect the highway workers, I’m in favor of.”

Waldrupe hopes the new equipment will encourage drivers to slow down.

“You have to realize this is their work area, and a lot of times they’ve got traffic cones or maybe orange barrels that separate them from a moving vehicle, and if that moving vehicle is moving at a high rate of speed, it could be disastrous,” he added.

The new device is receiving pushback, as some drivers feel it violates their rights.

“I believe it’s a violation of our 4th amendment constitutional right,” said Randolph County Citizen Hampton Owens.

Hampton Owens explained he believes an officer should be next to the equipment for an officer to issue a citation.

“I don’t think it’s right for any law enforcement agency to set up a radar without an officer being present to be able to visualize it with their own eyes the speed that is going on,” Owens said.

Brad Smithee, District 10 Engineer with ArDOT, said the new devices could be used on interstate work zones in Northeast Arkansas very soon.