Obey traffic laws and get home safely

If you’ve done much driving around our region lately, you know the orange barrels and cones are out in abundance. That means men and women in those marked zones are out doing their jobs, too.

Better weather means better conditions to work. At the same time, it means more people on the roads. That makes this period the “100 deadliest days of summer,” according to Ohio officials who want us all to be a little more careful in work zones.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday instructed the Ohio State Highway Patrol to intensify its patrols in work zones. They’ll be targeting reckless driving infractions, like speeding and distracted driving, in an effort to save lives.

As DeWine made the announcement, he was accompanied by the mother of Alex King, a construction worker who was killed in June 2021.

“All I can ask is that you please slow down, pay attention, put your phone down, and realize that these accidents happen in a split second,” Dana King said. “One small distraction can cause a lifetime of devastation. You never think it can happen to you until it happens to you.”

According to a recent news release from DeWine’s office, there have been nearly 26,000 work zone crashes with more than 9,000 people hurt — several of them seriously — since 2019.

In that same time period, 99 people have been killed in work zone crashes, including nine road workers.

Currently, there are 500 active road construction zones in the Buckeye State, with another 950 planned by the end of summer, the news release stated. That means there are hundreds upon hundreds of areas where speed or distraction could bring a driver fatally close to the workers getting those jobs done for us.

King is right — no matter where you are driving, slow down, pay attention, obey the signs and markers … and remember those working in construction zones want to get back home just as much as you do.

If that’s not incentive enough, it sounds as though DeWine is urging there be plenty of state troopers around to remind us, too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all drove carefully enough in those zones to give troopers a very boring 100 days?



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