Officials: Slow down, pay attention in work zones

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – After two construction workers were killed Friday, officials are asking drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones this summer.

Indiana State Police trooper Roosevelt Williams was patrolling the construction zone near Interstate 465 and Interstate 65 on the south side of Indianapolis Friday evening.

Even during rush hour, Williams pulled one driver over for going 61 in a 45 mph work zone.

Speeding tickets in Indiana in a work zone start at $300 for the first offense. The second offense is $500, and the third offense within three years is $1,000.

If you drive recklessly, you could face fines up to $5,000.

“It’s crucial, in my opinion, you pay more attention in work zones,” said Williams. “Your lives are at stake, and other people’s lives are at stake.”

INDOT’s website states, “It takes just one minute more to travel through a two-mile work zone at 45 mph than 65 mph.”

It’s not just speeding troopers are watching out for. Williams says what he sees a lot of in work zones, is cars changing lanes abruptly, or without a turn signal.

“At minimum, you need at least 200 feet before you initiate that lane change. What you see is people put their signal on, but then change lanes immediately. What they have to realize, is you need to wait 200 feet, to allow time for people behind you to realize that lane change,” said Williams.

“Just a reminder to make sure you’re being safe in a work zone, so that we’re not causing chain reaction rear end crashes by changing lanes abruptly,” he told another driver.

Along the interstate here, in many areas construction workers have a concrete barrier between them and cars. But many work zones don’t.

“There’s probably 20-50 workers working on both sides of the shoulder, on 465 and 65 southbound,” said Williams. “They clock in, they clock out. Ultimately what they want to do is go back home at the end of the night.”

Other important reminders: watch in work zones for solid white lines: that means you can’t change lanes at all.

And when troopers are out stopping people, move over if you can.

Indiana’s “move over, slow down” law includes utility services vehicles, tow trucks, highway maintenance vehicles, among others.

It states you must move over if you see an emergency vehicle or utility service vehicle stopped alongside the road. If you can’t move over, you have to slow down 10 miles below the posted speed limit.

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