PennDOT issues safety reminder to motorists about work zones

There were more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones in 2013 and with Act 89 transportation projects ramping up, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police are reminding motorists to drive carefully through the work zones they’ll encounter this construction season.

Officials gathered at a PennDOT maintenance facility in Harrisburg in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which was observed earlier this month.

“We’re out there and we’re seeing there is some distracted driving and people are not paying attention to our signs and our flagmen,” Wes Hess, Warren/Forest counties manager for PennDOT, said. “We’re asking everybody to be considerate and pay attention in those work zones for themselves and the safety of our workers.”

PennDOT is asking all drivers to pay close attention to flaggers and signs. Motorists should maintain a safe distance around vehicles and use four-way flashers when stopped or traveling slowly. Drivers are also reminded to turn on their headlights in posted work zones and those that don’t face a $25 fine.

Motorists caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in active work zones automatically lose their license for 15 days, according to Pennsylvania state law.

“We are asking drivers to use extra caution in work zones so all of us can get home safely. With crews working right next to moving traffic, it’s especially dangerous and especially important that motorists obey signs and speed limits,” PennDOT Executive Secretary Brad Mallory said. “The bottom line is that everyone deserves to make it home safely at the end of the day. Please remember that there are dads, moms, sons and daughters working hard in construction work zones, and I urge all drivers to remember that human component the next time they think about speeding or driving carelessly in a work zone.”