INDOT bills drivers who damage state property

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As wicked weather take hold of Central Indiana, INDOT is reminding drivers they will be billed for damages to State property even in the event of an accident.

Many people don’t know they are financially responsible for damages to guardrails or concrete medians. The agency used to be slow at collecting from insurance companies, sometimes taking 227 days.

Now it has vamped up its efforts and is taking about 45 days to file and collect.

“The trends are going up in terms of the percentage we’re collecting and the amount we’re collecting. And the trend is going down in terms of the number of days it takes for us to actually collect,” said Will Wingfield, spokesman for INDOT.

According to Wingfield, a guardrail can cost $14.51 per linear foot to fix. Smaller “sheet” signs supported by one post can run up to $122 each. And sheet signs supported by two posts cost $247 each.

“This is yet another reason why it’s important to drive safely so that you never have to deal with this type of situation,” said Wingfield.

The price of an accident might be expensive, but some drivers understand why they are responsible.

“Yeah I think it’s fair that if you damage somebody’s property that you should have to take care of it,” said Steve Wendt. “Hopefully your insurance would cover you, but I think it’s your responsibility if you damage somebody else’s property.”

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