INDIANAPOLIS – Motorists travelling during the Independence Day holiday and weekend should practice safe driving habits—especially through highway construction zones. Indiana State Police (ISP) will be utilizing special unmarked pickup trucks provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in a visible construction zone enforcement blitz intended to maximize safety and mobility.
INDOT has directed contractors to pull back barrels and barricades to the safest extent possible during the heavily-travelled holiday, but Indiana State Police will continue to enforce construction zone safety utilizing all available tools, including pickups in construction zones (PICZ).
The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen being used by contractors and INDOT inspectors. Motorists are urged to comply with reduced speed limits, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid driving aggressively. Motorists that fail to do so may meet one of the troopers driving the special pickup truck police vehicles.
Indiana now has nine trucks patrolling various construction zones throughout the state. INDOT and ISP launched the PICZ program in 2011 with converted pickups for traffic enforcement in and near construction zones. INDOT provides the trucks to Indiana State Police as part of their efforts toward reducing crashes and injuries and enhancing safety and mobility.
The trucks are equipped with LIDAR, which is similar to radar but uses laser light to measure the distance between vehicles, allowing police to accurately and consistently determine if vehicles are following too closely. Statistical analysis shows the top cause of work zone crashes to be following too closely.
During the holiday enforcement blitz, Indiana State Police will be specifically looking for drivers who follow too closely, exceed posted speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or to properly restrain children. Troopers will also be aggressively looking for impaired drivers.
To help ensure motorists reach their holiday travel destinations safely, please remember these safe driving tips: