(a) Whenever the department of transportation or local governing unit with jurisdiction
over the highways determines that the preexisting established speed limit through
a highway construction or maintenance operation is greater than is reasonable or safe
with respect to the conditions expected to exist in that operation, it may, on highways
under its respective jurisdiction, determine and declare reasonable and safe absolute
maximum temporary speed limits applicable through all or part of the operation. A temporary speed limit so determined and declared shall become effective and shall
suspend the applicability of any other speed limit prescribed in this chapter when
appropriate signs of the design prescribed by the department giving notice of the
limits are erected at or along the operation. When these signs are erected, the total of fines, penalties, and costs assessed
upon conviction shall be twice the amount otherwise set by the general laws.
(b) When street, highway or bridge construction, or a maintenance operation is present,
the department of transportation or local governing unit with jurisdiction over the
street or highway shall erect signs declaring that the fine for a conviction of a
traffic violation, as defined by § 31-41.1-4, through the “temporary traffic control zone” shall be doubled. When these signs are erected, the total of the fines, penalties, and costs assessed
upon conviction shall be twice the amount otherwise set by the general laws. The prescribed legend for the signs shall be established by the department of transportation.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “temporary traffic control zone” means that
portion of a bridge, street, or highway that is identified by official traffic-control
devices. The zone includes the entire section of roadway between the first advance warning
sign through the last traffic control device, where traffic returns to its normal
path and conditions. This zone shall exist throughout the duration of the construction or maintenance
operation or as long as the signs remain.
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