Work Zone Safety Awareness Week continues through this Friday and motorists across the state are being asked to pay attention and take care.
“We know that approaching another construction season means lots of orange barrels and cones and possible detours but it also means our roads and bridges are going to be smoother and better as a result, ” George McAuley, the state deputy secretary for highway administration, said. “Construction season also too often means high risk hazards for the men and women who do the hard work that deliver these transportation programs. The awful truth is we have lost 87 of our dedicated employees since 1970, that’s more than our sisters and brothers in state law enforcement.”
Sixteen people were killed in work zone crashes last year, which is seven fewer than 2015. However, there was an increase in total work zone crashes by over 100 during the same time period, according to data.
Many of these incidents are caused by avoidable driver mistakes like speeding or distracted driving, official say. PennDOT employee Tony Travis reminds motorists that workers are just like them.
“Everybody has a family and everybody wants to go home safely to that family just like the motoring public wants to get to where they’re going and eventually get home to their family at the end of the night,” Travis said. “Our guys want to do the same.”
Anyone going over five miles per hour above the posted speed limit in a work zone will face doubled fines and drivers who don’t turn on their headlights in posted work zones could be fined $25.