Slow Down: Michigan sees alarming increase in construction zone crashes
Michigan saw a 4% increase in motor vehicle crashes overall.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Traffic signs, signals, cones and barriers aren’t used to delay drivers but warn them of coming conditions. However, Michigan has seen an increase in traffic crashes with more accidents happening in work zones, with many resulting in deaths.
Lieutenant Rene Gonzalez of Michigan State Police (MSP) says driving safety can reduce risk of accidents, injury, and financial challenges that come from insurance increases and being ticketed.
“Mainly, it’s the drivers who are not obeying the speed limit signs or theirs also a case of them probably being inattentive or distracted.”
In 2022, Michigan saw a 28-percent increase in work zone crashes says Gregg Brunner of Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
“We had 4300 work zone crashes and 16 overall fatal crashes in work zones in the state of Michigan. That’s an alarming number, 13 of those were drivers that were killed and 3 were workers in the work zone.”
Michigan State Police is working with MDOT to improve the safety of these zones. Not only drivers but contracted workers in these zones, Gonzalez said. MSP has troopers that are stationed in the construction zones for visibility to be seen, so it gets people to slow down and for enforcement of speed limits.
Recently legislation passed in Michigan that restricts drivers from using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. However, both agencies are seeking other solutions like speed cameras in work zones.
“If someone sees a sign that says, speed zones enforced by cameras it may get them to slow down. If you’re coming through it’s going to take a picture of your plate and you will be issued a citation for it through the mail”, Gonzalez said.
Brunner says MDOT and Michigan State Police are working actively to ensure that work zones are safe as drivers pass through, but they are also asking drivers to use any additional precautions they can in these active areas.
To find information on construction work zones and road closures, visit MDOTS “MI Drive” website here.
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