Each year in the spring, National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones. This year, the 2018 National Work Zone Awareness Week was hosted by the state of Illinois in April. In Illinois, from 2010 to 2014, there were over 4,500 work zone motor vehicle crashes, resulting in nearly 1,100 injuries, and 27 fatalities with an average of 2 worker fatalities per year.
Work zones play a key role in maintaining and upgrading our nation’s roadways. However, daily changes in traffic patterns, more narrow rights-of-way, and other construction activities often create a combination of factors resulting in crashes, injuries, and fatalities. These crashes also cause excessive delays, especially given the constrained driving environment. Work zone incidents impact everyone. In addition to vehicular crashes and fatalities, the leading cause of death in the road and bridge construction sector are run overs, back overs, and falls.
As you can see, drivers, passengers, and construction workers are all at risk. Your driving habits can directly help—or harm—the well-being of other motorists, cyclists, workers, and pedestrians, including you. It’s important for everyone to do their part to improve work zone safety. Work zone safety is everybody’s responsibility.
If you are convicted of speeding in a construction zone in Illinois, the minimum fine is $375.00. Two or more violations committed in less than 24 months can result in a fine of $1,000.00 and a suspension of your driver’s license for 3 months. Construction zones have decreased speed limits for a reason: there’s a lot of activity happening! While it can seem annoying to slow down during your busy commute, it is imperative that you reduce your speed. Moving a bit slower can help you avoid a ticket and can save you from an accident. Remember, construction zones have speed limits that are enforced all the time, not just when there are workers present. If you see a construction zone, hit the brakes and move a bit slower.
Scott’s Law – The Move Over Law
Scott’s Law, named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway, requires that, when approaching any emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway (including construction vehicles and equipment), you must reduce your speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with caution. Penalties are more severe if you violate Scott’s Law.
Avoid Distractions. Distracted driving in a work zone can have deadly consequences. Put down your phone and keep your eyes on the road.
Construction driving accidents can be serious and even deadly. If you have been involved in a traffic crash, give us a call and we will answer your questions and assist you at no obligation to you. Want to learn a bit more about construction safety? Hear more from our very own St. Charles Mayor about construction safety here!