PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake”
National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 7-11, and motorists are reminded to drive safely not only for the sake of South Dakota’s highway workers, but also for the drivers themselves, their passengers and other travelers on the highways.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is asking motorists driving through work zones to slow down, give their full attention to the cars and work going on around them, and to expect the unexpected.
“People don’t realize how dangerous road construction areas can be and how quickly something can go wrong,” says Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist. “In many cases, orange cones and barrels are the only buffers separating highway workers from traffic.
When traveling at high speeds drivers can arrive at a roadway work zone too fast to stop safely. If speeding is combined with distracting activities such as texting, eating, or even just changing the radio station, the potential for a costly mistake increases dramatically.
“We want motorists who are tempted to speed or drive distracted through work zones to think about the workers, themselves and their passengers,” says Bergquist. “Driving is a serious job, and preventing crashes that result in injuries or deaths is everyone’s responsibility.”
The SDDOT encourages motorists to practice the following safety tips when traveling through work zones:
- Don’t Speed – Reduce speed before entering a work zone. If other motorists are speeding, don’t follow the bad example. Remember, fines are double in work zones.
- Stay Alert – Dedicate full attention to the road. Remember, somebody’s loved one is working in that area.
- Pay Attention – Avoid distracting activities like adjusting the radio and talking or texting on a cell phone.
- Expect the Unexpected – Watch out not only for road workers in the area, but also for construction equipment and slower traffic.
- Be Prepared to Stop – Signs and work-zone flaggers save lives.
- Don’t Tailgate – Maintain adequate and safe distances from workers and other vehicles.
- Be Patient – Remember, road crews are working to improve your future ride.
To obtain the most recent road construction information in South Dakota, please visithttp://www.safetravelusa.com/sd and click on the orange signs or dial 511.
To view the national work zone awareness video, visit www.sddot.com.