NSC Construction and Utilities Division news State programs State laws Transportation Injury prevention Highways, streets and bridges Transportation

Washington state law aimed at protecting highway workers from speeders


Caption: Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signs into law S.B. 5272, a new law that allows the use of speed safety cameras in the state’s highway work zones.

Olympia, WA — A new law in Washington state allows the use of speed safety cameras in highway work zones in an effort to protect roadway workers.

Under S.B. 5272, signed into law April 4 by Gov. Jay Inslee (D), drivers speeding in a state highway work zone when workers are present can be cited. All camera locations will be required to be clearly marked by roadway signage to alert drivers.

Revenue generated by the cameras must be used for traffic safety education efforts, according to a press release from Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett), the bill’s sponsor. The law is set to go into effect July 1, 2024.

Data from the state’s Department of Transportation shows that, in 2021, crashes in work zones led to 283 minor injuries, 28 serious injuries and five deaths.

Inslee signed the bipartisan bill, which was unanimously approved in both the House (96-0) and Senate (49-0), at a WSDOT Worker Memorial event in Olympia.

“We all play a role and have a responsibility for keeping workers safe,” Inslee said in an April 4 Twitter post.

“Folks working on our state highways deserve to do so with the peace of mind that they will end their shift by going home to their families and loved ones,” Liias said in the release. “These workers are acting every day to ensure our highways are safe for commuters, and we have a duty to keep them safe as well.”

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)