Let's Do Better In Work Zones



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Let's Do Better In Work Zones

Hoosiers partner together to make construction zones a safer place to drive.

(Photo Credit: INDOT)

A memorial was on display Tuesday in downtown Indianapolis, honoring the fifteen lives lost in Indiana work zones last year. The fifteeen yellow cones represent the fifteen victims, while the work vest and hard hat honor the worker who was killed in a Hamilton Co. construction zone. 

In celebration of Indiana Work Zone Awareness Week, I-69 closed Tuesday because of a crash that reportedly involved semis, passenger cars, and an irresponsible driver that caused the whole thing.

Yes, the crash was in a WORK ZONE.

The closure backed up traffic for two miles, and slowed down all entry points into Pendleton, including the highly traveled S.R. 38 and U.S. 36.

We can do better, right? Fifteen people were killed in work zones last year, for one reason or another. Last November, a semi crashed in a Hamilton Co work zone, and the chain reaction killed 34 year old Justin Nance - the only construction worker to lose his life last year due to an error by a motorist. The driver of the semi didn’t see the arrows and couldn’t merge in time.

That's what happens.


(Photo Credit: INDOT)

No intention of being preachy, but here's another. Earlier this year, three people in two separate vehicles were killed in an I-65 construction zone near Seymour. Vehicles had slowed in the left lane, and a tractor trailer (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) smashed into the back of a recreational vehicle, and set off a chain reaction that included wrecking a semi in the right lane.

With the loss of life, it almost seems trivial to mention that the interstate closed for an extended amount of time.

It only takes one irresponsible movement, and since texting and driving (the antithesis of a safe commute) is here to stay, it's going to take a collaborative effort to bring the number fifteen down to zero. That's why there's Indiana Work Zone Awareness Week, where law enforcement agencies, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and responsible drivers like yourself are getting the word out on why work zones should be treated like, well, we work there.

Please take a couple of minutes and watch this video from Indianapolis State Police Sergeant John Perrine, and if you don't mind, give it a share. It's an excellent tutorial and how to navigate a construction zone safely and efficiently:

And so you know, The Indiana Work Zone Safety Law ramps up the penalties if you speed in highway work zones, none of which I can afford:

First time ticket, $300 dollars.

Second time ticket $500 dollars.

Third time ticket, $1,000 dollars.

Hurting or killing somebody could be treated as felonious, which means hefty fines and a trip to prison.

Not good.

Let's all be safe this summer. 


Matt Bair is the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic.. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.

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