The signs read, "Speeding Max $1,000, Reckless Driving Max 8 Years."
Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison and Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton confirmed to The Brazil Times that both departments would have officers assisting the Indiana State Police in patrolling the five-mile work zone area east of Brazil to the county line.
Officials believe the new law, which enacted stiffer fines and possible jail time on July 1, will be a deterrent for reckless drivers to be more aware and slow down in work zones, lessoning the amount of accidents and road crew injuries.
The law gives INDOT the power to direct law enforcement officers to enforce decreased work zone speed limits, which are not to exceed 45 mph, regardless of whether workers are actually present.
"Every year, Hoosier motorists and highway workers lose their lives in Indiana's highway work zones," INDOT Commissioner Karl B. Browning said in a press release when the law took affect. "With record-breaking highway construction going on around the state thanks to Major Moves, work zone crashes are more of a concern now than ever before. Indiana's new law sends drivers the message that driving recklessly and speeding in our state's work zones is extremely dangerous and simply unacceptable."
If caught speeding in a work zone, a driver's first offense will cost them $300, while a second offense will cost $500. A driver who acquires a third speeding offense in a work zone within three years will be fined $1,000.
The fines don't stop there, according to Indiana State Police Trooper Joe Watts.
An aggressive or reckless driver caught in violation of the new law or involved in a work zone accident could potentially face fines up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker in an accident could pay a $10,000 fine and/or serve up to eight years imprisonment.
Any citations written in the Clay County work zone will be processed in Clay Superior Court. To process a citation through local court system is $110, which will stay locally, but the fines will be transferred to INDOT to pay off-duty state troopers for heightened patrols in work zones throughout the state.