News 5 Investigates

May 9, 2014 2:15 AM by Eric Ross

News 5 Guardians: Can troopers write double-priced tickets when construction workers aren't present?

If you received a traffic ticket in a construction zone, you probably weren't too happy with the fine.

To get drivers to slow down and pay attention, construction zone fines can double.

One of the largest "cone zones" in Colorado Springs is along I-25 between Woodmen and Monument. Many of you are telling us there are a lot of officers writing double fine tickets, even when there were no construction workers present.

Can they do this?

The short answer is yes!

"We have some people who say they just didn't see the signs," Trooper Michelle Archer said.

She patrols the northern stretch of I-25 in El Paso County daily. Get pulled over by her, prepare to get a ticket.

"I've pulled people over for driving in excess of 90 mph," she said. "The construction workers are out here working, setting up closures and we just want people to be aware of their presence."

But often times, especially in the early morning and late evening, the only signs of construction going on are the signs posted along the interstate.

Analyzing months worth of CDOT records, we learned the majority of construction work being performed along I-25 took place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., but records obtained through Colorado State Patrol show troopers were writing double-priced tickets hours before and after construction crews were working.

"We can write double fines because the signs are posted throughout the zone," Archer said. "If the workers are going to be out working within four hours, (we can write double-priced tickets)."

We found troopers are in-compliance with that 4-hour policy. It's a policy construction workers support.

"People have been killed working on construction projects because of traffic," Rich Gonser with CDOT said. "There's people driving 20 mph too fast and you see them everyday."

To-date, nearly two dozen CDOT workers have died in work-zone related crashes, all the more reason why troopers want to make their presence known.

For information pertaining to repair times and projects being completed along I-25 from Woodmen to Monument, click on the link below:

CDOT Work Schedule.pdf

Construction Update.pdf

To view a list of citations written by CSP in the I-25 construction zone, click here:

Citations.pdf

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