ILLINOIS – The Illinois Department of Transportation has introduced new photo enforcement vans with hopes to crack down on speeding in construction work zones.

IDOT says there are five new photo enforcement vans in the state that could be used as soon as this construction season.

Officials say the van will help with the continuation of a program that traces back two decades. The vehicles come through a new contract with Modaxo, which will put photo enforcement operations in the hands of IDOT and Illinois State Police.

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The vans will have clear markings that designate them as speed photo enforcement vehicles and will also include a large sign that displays the speed of approaching vehicles, according to IDOT.

“The vans give drivers ample warning that they may be going over the speed limit and the incentive to slow down before a speeding event is captured,” said Illinois Highway Safety Programs Unit Chief Juan Pava via a news release.

IDOT says the vehicles will be used exclusively in work zones while workers are present. State research indicates that speeding is one of the main causes of crashes in work zones.

“The primary benefit is speed reduction and behavior change,” said Illinois Work Zone Safety Engineer Nathan Peck. “That’s why we use a big white van. We want it to be visible. It’s all about deterrence, presence and visibility.”

“We have new cameras with much higher resolution, as well as new safety features within the units to keep the troopers who are deploying them safe,” said Pava. “We’re hoping that with this new technology, we’ll be able to get better metrics to truly understand the speed issues in work zones and increase the effectiveness of the speed photo enforcement program.”