Not only is it the summer season, when roadside workers are out there working to improve our state’s streets, but we’re also in the middle of Indiana’s fully-funded 10-year highway construction plan, Major Moves.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Work Zone Safety Law is being pushed during this time of the year to ensure the safety of everyone in our work zones. If you’re cited for unsafe driving behaviors or disobeying other road laws in a work zone, you’re going to get a citation of $300.
For a second-time offense, you’re going to get slapped with a $500 fine and a $1,000 fine for a third-time offense. Motorists who are busted driving aggressively or recklessly through a work zone face fines up to $5,000. If you end up injuring or killing a worker, you could end facing $10,000 in fines and up to eight years behind bars.
We all know that highway work zones can be frustrating at times. But it’s important to remember that these workers are out there to make streets safer for Hoosiers. You’ve seen the orange cones and barrels. They’re not only there to warn you about road work, but to also remind you to practice safe driving habits.
Our Highland accident lawyers understand that dangerous driving habits not only put you and your passengers at risk for an accident, but also increase risks for roadside workers who are out there trying to make driving a little easier for you in the first place.
You’re at serious risks, too. As a matter of fact, four out of every five people who are killed in highway work zones are motorists. There were nearly 15 fatal accidents in 2011. Some of these accidents were noted to be the result of dangerous driving, including improper lane changes, driver fatigue and following too closely.
To help to keep everyone safe, employees completing this road work typically do their jobs during off-peak and nighttime hours whenever possible. For extra safety, they also install concrete barrier walls on busy streets, use electronic message boards, wear protective equipment and use extra police patrols in highway work zones. What’s missing is cooperation from some drivers.
Officials are asking drivers to stay alert behind the wheel and to pay close attention to your surroundings while driving through a work zone. In these areas, lanes change, speeds are altered and workers are oftentimes present. Make sure that you keep it slow and merge into necessary lanes before entering a work zone. This will help to keep traffic flowing safely and smoothly in these areas. You’re also reminded to avoid distractions in these zones and to avoid tailgating other vehicles. Keep your full attention on what you’re doing — driving.
Work Zone Travel Tips from Transportation Officials:
-Avoid distractions, especially the three C’s: Coffee, CDs and Cell Phones.
-Be ready for delays. Leave early for your destination to avoid rushing.
-Select an alternative route if possible and avoid construction altogether.
-Obey flaggers. They’re an extension of the law.
-Never tailgate a vehicle. Allow yourself with plenty of time to react to a road hazard. Reaction time comes with space.
-Check traffic and work zone info before setting out. Try to avoid these areas if possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact Highland Injury Attorney Burton A. Padove for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 219-836-2200.
More Blog Entries:
Summertime Risks for Accidents in Highland!, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2012
Teens and Risks for Car Accidents in Highland and Elsewhere during Summer Season, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2012