Illinois Trying To Make Road-Work Zones Safer By Enforcing Speed Restrictions

Speed Limits In Illinois Work ZonesThe Illinois Department of Transportation is doing whatever it can to ensure that road work zones are as safe as possible. The latest addition are speed indicator boards in the Metro East. These boards display how fast approaching vehicles are driving as they enter into work zones. Because 19 people died in work zones in Illinois in 2012, any step taken to reduce the number of fatalities is a positive one.

What the board does

The radar technology will capture how fast the driver is going at the time; the indicator board will then display the actual speed. If drivers are going faster than the preset speed limit, the sign is going to show the how fast oncoming vehicles are driving in real-time. It is just another step in doing whatever is possible to save lives in work zones. Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider believes that it will encourage drivers to go the work zone speed limit, raise awareness, and consequently change driver behavior in the end.

Other steps Illinois has taken

Illinois is trying hard to reduce the number of accidents in road work zones, regulations that went into effect in 2004 hand first-time offenders a fine of $375 for speeding in the work zone. If the same offender is caught again, the fine increases to a whopping $1,000. Hitting a worker will cause the driver to face upwards of 14 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The major factors that contribute to work zone crashes

The truth is that anything causing the driver to focus is a good step in the right direction. The two factors commonly involved in work zone crashes include driver inattentiveness and driving too fast. The reduced or narrow lanes, lane closures, equipment next to moving lanes, and edge drop-offs all make it important to reduce speed in order to make it through the work zones safely.

Preventing further accidents

When respecting the rules of the road and making sure to pay attention to others, work zone crashes are avoidable. It is a sad situation when someone loses his or her life over something preventable. These are just a handful of the tips that drivers can use to reduce the chances of an accident:

  • Watch for workers – Remember to be aware of the florescent lime-green and orange safety colors that workers wear when they are on the road. Even if workers are not present, it is still important to drive the speed limit, there may be changes that you are not aware of right away.
  • Slow down when instructed – Almost half of the fatal crashes in Illinois involve speeding. Remember to drive the speed limit.
  • Pay attention – When in a work zone, you will see signs posted that warn you about roadway incidents, traffic shifts, and other possible issues.
  • No tailgating – The rear-end collision is one of the more common crashes in a work zone. Oftentimes people do not react in time and see something at the last minute. Give yourself plenty of space to come to a stop or change lanes if need be.
  • No cellphones – Even though most find the lure of Facebook and e-mail difficult to stay away from, focusing on the road is the best way to avoid possible accidents.