Indiana Department of Transportation or INDOT and the Indiana State Police are encouraging drivers to drive like they work here.
This after Gov. Eric Holcomb proclaimed April 8 through 12 Work Zone Awareness Week in an effort to promote the safety of drivers and workers in highway construction zones.
“There’s peoples lives out there at risk every day with what they’re doing,” said Crawfordsville District Deputy Commissioner Shane Spears of INDOT. “We want them to think, hey you work out here.”
Trevor Hassler, a project engineer with INDOT, is working on the repavement of highway 41 and has since had some close calls with impatient or distracted drivers.
“We were out working in the passing lane and you kind of take for granted that nobody is gonna try and go around behind you through that turn lane,” he said. “Somebody whipped around a pick up and shot off full throttle down that center turn lane as I started to step back.”
Unfortunately some people aren’t lucky enough to just have a close call in highway construction zones.
“Two years ago I worked a double fatal at the 17 mile marker that was caused from a work construction zone and a driver that was not paying attention,” said ISP Public Information Officer Sgt. Matt Ames. “He ran into the rear end of a van and killed two small children.”
Not paying attention to a construction zone isn’t the only fatal situation that can happen on a highway according to Sgt. Ames.
“There’s one tow truck driver that is killed every 60 days in the United States from people failing to move over,” he said. “And I have worked personally accidents where that has occurred.”
Construction workers, tow companies, law enforcement and anyone else working on a highway deserves to have their safety considered on your daily commute.
“We’re here to do a job and we wanna get home safely and carefully. You know we’re out here and we’re not trying to be an inconvenience,” said Hassler. “We just wanna be able to get out there have the right zones set up and be safe and get home at the end of the night.”
ISP will be patrolling construction zones and giving out citations to those speeding and driving while distracted.
A ticket for speeding while in a construction zone can cost up to 1,000 dollars, so watch for signs and drive safely.