According to statistics released by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there are over 7000 work zone motor vehicle crashes a year in Illinois resulting in 2600 injuries and 33 fatalities, including an average of 2 worker fatalities. Motorists account for eighty five percent of work zone fatalities. Motorists are urged to Please Slow Down! in work zones so that they can arrive at their destinations safely.
Safe driving tips that motorists should follow in work zones include watching for signs posted a minimum of one-half mile in advance of construction zones. Reduce your speed to the posted speed limit,generally 45 m.p.h. Work zone speed limits are to be obeyed at all times of the day. Workers do not have to be present to receive a speeding ticket in a work zone. Fines for speeding in a work zone are a minimum of $375 for the first offense and a minimum of $1000 for the second offense. Mandatory court appearance is required for all work zone speeding violations. Don’t tailgate! Rear-end collisions caused by tailgaters are one of the most common crashes in work zones. Stay alert and minimize distractions. Don’t talk on cell phones. Watch for workers. Keep an eye out for the orange and lime-green that workers wear when on the job. Finally, expect the unexpected: traffic patterns may change in construction zones; sudden stops also may be required.
The Illinois Department of Tranportation stresses that slowing down in work zones will only add seconds to the overall length of a trip, so when you see the orange work zone signs, Please Slow Down!