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Lawmakers hit brakes on plan to deploy speed enforcement cameras in highway work zones
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2021 Indiana General Assembly

Lawmakers hit brakes on plan to deploy speed enforcement cameras in highway work zones

Road Construction - Hammond

Traffic navigates through a construction zone on the Indiana Toll Road in Hammond. At the Statehouse, legislation that would authorize the state police to use automated camera enforcement to ticket motorists exceeding the speed limit in highway work zones is unlikely to become law this year after failing to advance out of the House by Monday's deadline.

Hoosiers appear to have escaped monitoring and punishment by speed enforcement cameras for at least one more year.

The Indiana House did not vote either up or down on House Bill 1465 before Monday’s deadline, meaning the legislation is not advancing to the Senate and likely will not be enacted into law.

The proposal, sponsored by state Reps. Jim Pressel, R-Rolling Prairie; Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; and Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, would have authorized the Indiana Department of Transportation and state police to establish a "pilot program" with four work zone speed enforcement camera sites on highways across the state.

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The speed cameras would photograph vehicles exceeding the reduced speed limit by at least 12 miles per hour and the owner of the vehicle would be mailed a $75 ticket — regardless of whether the owner was the person driving the vehicle.

Pressel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why he did not ask state representatives to vote on the measure on the last day for legislation originating in the House to advance to the Senate.

Starting next week, the House will take up Senate-approved measures and the Senate will begin considering House-endorsed proposals as both chambers continue working toward their April 29 adjournment deadline.

It’s rare, but not unusual, for state lawmakers to allow proposals lacking majority support to simply not be called for a vote if the likely outcome is defeat.

By doing so, a lawmaker retains the option to perhaps insert his or her unpopular measure into other legislation still moving through the process toward the governor’s desk.

See a day in the life of Portage Patrolman Brian Graves in the latest installment of Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops.

Video filmed by Kale Wilk and produced by Scotia White. Interview by Anna Ortiz.

For example, Pressel might be able to revise the increased penalties for drivers photographed illegally passing a stopped school bus in Senate Bill 69 — which is eligible for final Senate approval Tuesday — into a broader camera enforcement measure, despite opposition to his original proposal by the state police and Hoosier prosecutors.

Records show Soliday also allowed his House Bill 1221, regulating competition in soda pop and bottled water pricing, to die without a vote Monday.

Meet the 2021 Northwest Indiana legislative delegation

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