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Ohio implementing new measures to minimize construction accidents

As motorists, we might get frustrated when we approach construction zones. The lanes narrow, and if the pavement has been repainted, it can be difficult to differentiate between your lane from the lanes next to you. Perhaps the most frustrating part of Columbus construction zones are the delays they cause in traffic.

However, it's important to remember that when traffic is moving slowly, it's for a good reason. The orange signs that remind you to slow down are there not only to slow you down, but also to help minimize accidents in construction zones.

Drivers who fail to slow down in construction zones often cause severe or fatal accidents. At the end of April, three workers were severely injured when a young driver sped through the work zone. The driver was believed to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he struck three workers.

One spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) said that many motorists forget that there are work zones at night. Contrary to the typically 9:00-5:00 hours that many professionals work, construction workers often work on the roads in the late hours of the evening, typically when there is the least traffic.

The ODOT spokesperson reminded drivers that when they see the orange barrels or when they see the signs, it is critical that they slow down.

In an effort to help protect the workers, a new construction project is being implemented. Under the new project, the speed limit will be reduced to 50 mph when work zones are active. In addition, police officers will heavily monitor the areas. Fines will double for driving offenses committed in a work zone. Hopefully the new steps will be effective at keeping construction workers safe.

Source: Fox 8 Cleveland, "ODOT Cracks Down on Construction Zones After Workers Accidents," Suzanne Stratford, 17 June 2011

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