Iowa, Illinois DOT officials discuss safe driving in work zones

In Illinois, in 2021, there were 25 deaths and 1,600 injuries in work zones.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Illinois and Iowa Department of Transportation officials are reminding drivers that work zones are a sign to slow down.

“The people in work zones want to get home at the end of the day just like you,” said Masood Ahmad, an Illinois Department of Transportation official. “The governor and Illinois Department of Transportation are committed to making the safety of the workers and the traveling public a priority. Last year, there were 25 deaths and more than 1,600 injuries in Illinois work zones. Prior to this pandemic, our numbers were going down. Our numbers are increasing significantly.”

The Iowa Department of Transportation said that 65 people have already died in traffic-related accidents in 2022.

Both Iowa and Illinois have ‘Move Over’ laws that require drivers to change lanes and slow down when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing vehicle lights, or Department of Transportation vehicles.

“To date, the Illinois State Police has had 10 squad cars struck as a result of Scott’s Law violations, and it’s only April,” said Illinois State Police captain Jason Dickey . “In 2021, there were 22 Scott’s Law-related crashes.”

Taylor Peoples, a highway maintainer, said it is important that drivers remain vigilant and not distracted by their cell phones when in a work zone.

“We were out dirt patching, where we patch potholes with a machine. A couple of vehicles swerved in between the maintainers that you see behind us to stop traffic.” Peoples said. “We had to jump off the roadway. They swerved back. The best advice is stay alert, and stay alive.”

Capt. Dickey said that a minimum fine for speeding in a work zone is $250. A second offense is a $750 fine and a suspended driver’s license for 90 days.

Bridges throughout the Quad Cities will be lit up in orange lights to honor those who have died in work zones.

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