CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - National Work Zone Awareness Week began Tuesday, April 27.
Tuesday morning the Illinois Department of Transportation, The Illinois State Police and other partners conducted a press conference to remind people to “drive safe, work safe and save lives.”
As we move into the summer months, we will see more highway work zones.
“Motorist will now start to see an increase in road activity, whether it be a highway maintainer out there or our construction crews,” said Doug Helfrich, IDOT District 9 Construction Engineer.
Last year there were 37 roadway deaths in Illinois work zones.
There have already been five fatalities this year including a worker.
“Driving in and around these work zones requires undivided attention. Please put your phones and electronics devices down. Slow down and obey work zone speed limits. Pay special attention to your surroundings,” said Helfrich.
Illinois State Police Captain Casey Faro says her department is committed to ensuring safety in work zones.
“Troopers will be actively patrolling work zones. We will work alongside highway workers to monitor traffic flow and identify motorists who disobey work zone speed limits and other applicable laws,” said Faro.
The Illinois State Police will also have photo enforcement vans placed in work zones throughout the state.
“These fully marked photo enforcement vans are equipped with the latest and photo radar technology designed to record the speed of vehicles and capture clear images of the driver and the license plate,” said Faro.
IDOT Highway Maintainer Corey Kidd said he has seen many drivers ignoring the work zone speed limits.
“We’ve had issues with the traffic moving pretty quickly through it. They don’t seem to obey the traffic laws and we’ve got a lot of people out there that want to go home to their families as well,” said Kidd.
IDOT uses several methods to alert drivers entering work zones.
“We try and get some signs that at least have some advanced warming so we know that motorist are going to be able to come up on it and react to that before they get there,” said Kidd.
IDOT has one mission for its workers.
“The people in those work zones want to get home at the end of the day safely like everyone else,” said Helfrich.
According to IDOT, over 90 percent of injuries in a work zones are due to the traveling public and not the workers.