INDOT, ISP advise motorists to slow down in work zones

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Construction zone safety is on the minds of Indiana Department of Transportation employees and Indiana State Police troopers after two construction workers were killed Friday morning on Interstate 69 near Fishers. The workers were hit by a motorist driving a pickup truck.

There are more crews out repairing the roads from the rough winter. INDOT and ISP advise drivers to slow down in construction zones.

INDOT spokesperson Debbie Calder said their crews deal with drivers speeding through work zones on a daily basis.

“Nearly $800 million of construction is going on statewide. Not only around the Lafayette area, but you know as people travel through the state, you’re going to run into construction zones,” said Calder.

Calder said on average, every four out of five deaths in highway zone crashes are the driver or passenger, not the workers. In 2013, 13 motorists died and more than 450 were injured in Indiana highway work zones.

“We just remind people over and over again of why, you know, we have these construction zones out there. What we want you to do to get through it safely,” said Calder.

Calder said minimizing distractions while driving through work zones will help.

“We ask that you put down that cell phone, put down that cup of coffee. Your attention when you’re driving needs to be focused on the roadway and the roadway only,” said Calder.

Speeding in construction zones does not only endanger lives, but may also cost a driver more money.

“If you are caught speeding or any fine could be doubled in a work zone. In Tippecanoe County, a normal speeding ticket is about $152. If you get caught speeding in a work zone, it’s going to run you about $312 to pay for the ticket,” said ISP Sgt. Kim Riley.

Riley said there are bigger consequences if a motorist is caught driving recklessly.

“If you are caught in a work zone speeding, reckless driving and you cause injury or death to a worker, it could be eight years in jail and a large fine after that,” explained Riley.

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