Work Zone Awareness week brings attention to safety

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News release from INDOT Northeast:

Work Zone Awareness Week Brings Attention to Safety
“We’re All In This Together”

(April 11, 2013) – Governor Michael R. Pence is proclaiming April 15-19, 2013 as Work Zone Awareness Week in Indiana. Work Zone Awareness Week marks the ceremonial start to highway construction season and intends to bring awareness to motorist and worker safety in work zones.

INDOT will invest more than $1 billion in new highway construction projects this year to enhance safety, mobility and economic growth in Indiana. INDOT’s goal is to maximize both the safety and mobility of motorists and workers while maintaining as much access as possible to businesses, residences and emergency services.

INDOT is dedicated to continuously improving work zone safety. This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is “We’re All In This Together,” and INDOT needs participation from everyone, especially motorists, to make highway work zones as safe as possible.

Highway workers go about their duties while thousands of vehicles drive through their workplaces at high speeds, and it is critical for everyone’s well-being to drive safely. Four out of every five deaths in highway work zones are drivers and their passengers, not highway workers. Last year, eight people were killed and more than 500 people were injured in Indiana highway work zones. The majority of these injuries and deaths are caused by rear-end collisions, following too closely or making improper lane changes.

Highway work zones — especially those with narrow lanes or changing traffic patterns — leave little room for distractions and require attentive, cautious driving habits. Never text or talk on the phone while driving, especially through a work zone. Several studies show drivers using a phone are four times more likely to be in a crash. Other distractions, which include everything other than driving, can be just as dangerous.

Speeding or driving recklessly in a work zone is also dangerous. Motorists face fines of up to $1000 for speeding, up to $5000 for driving recklessly or aggressively, and up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to eight years for injuring or killing a highway worker. These fines are used to fund additional Indiana State Police work zone patrols.

Indiana State Police have nine white pickup trucks patrolling in and around highway work zones across Indiana. The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen in and around highway construction zones. Motorists are urged to comply with reduced speed limits in construction zones to promote safety for the highway workers as well as the motoring public. Motorists that fail to heed the reduced speed limits may meet one of the troopers driving the special pickup truck police vehicles.

Motorists can learn about highway work zones at www.TrafficWise.IN.gov or by calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623). Updates on projects and restrictions are also available at www.INDOT.IN.gov.

As part of Work Zone Awareness Week in Indiana, INDOT would like to alert drivers to some of the work zones they might encounter in Northeast Indiana this construction season:

  1. I-69 bridge replacement in both directions over the Little Black Creek, near mile 271, in Grant County.
  2. I-69 resurfacing between Exit 348 (US 20) and the Indiana/Michigan state line in Steuben County.
  3. SR 14 added travel lanes project, west of Fort Wayne, between West Hamilton Road and Scott Road.
  4. SR 930/Coliseum Boulevard resurfacing in Fort Wayne, between I-69 and the Cloverleaf, including resurfacing on US 27/Lima Road between SR 930 and Washington Center Road.
  5. I-69 interchange at Union Chapel Road, Exit 317, in Allen County, with construction of a roundabout intersection at Union Chapel Road and Diebold Road, and construction of a roundabout intersection at Union Chapel Road and Auburn Road.
  6. SR 19 road reconstruction in Elkhart, between Lusher Avenue and Beardsley Avenue.
  7. US 20 added travel lanes project, east of Elkhart, between CR 17 and SR 15.

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