Work Zone Awareness Week April 11-15
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – There were more than 17 people killed and 700 more injured in automobile crashes in construction zones in Indiana during 2015.
All are hoping to see that number decline drastically in 2016. Part of the effort to make that happen is Nationa Work Zone Awareness Week April 11-15, marking the start of the spring and summer highway construction season
Across Indiana this year there will be more than 770 construction projects totaling more than $850 million. Work zones will be as common as ever, says Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District spokesman Harry Maginity.
“It’s as much work as I’ve ever seen us do,” Maginity says.
This year, transportation agencies nationwide are adopting the “Don’t Be That Driver!” campaign. The message to motorists is to avoid the three leading causes of wrecks in work zones: speeding, following too close, or being distracted.
Slowing down from 65 MPH to 45 MPH, Maginity says, will only result in one minute longer to pass through a two mile highway construction zone.
One in five people killed in a work zone collision is a construction worker. Those workers not only have to be conscious of wayward motorists, but also heavy equipment and dangerous tools that are part of their job. Maginity says contractors and INDOT crews work to keep safety as a priority with regular “tool box talks” each week.
Obeying lower speed limits in work zones may also save your wallet. In Indiana, a first time speeding citation in a work zone can result in a $300 fine. The fine is upped to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense within three years. Motorists who drive recklessly or aggressively through a work zone face fines up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker may end up paying a $10,000 fine and serving up to six years behind bars.