Bismarck – With the summer driving season well underway, your vacation travels may involve the Mandan Work Zone here on Interstate 94. And as you head out on that vacation or simply to work, the Highway Patrol wants you to remember, these speed limit signs…are not a suggestion.
“The People Driving, they should be looking out for these workers, they’re people’s loved ones, their safety is in your hands.”
The sounds of summer are all around is…chisels jackhammering, saws cutting and shovels scraping.
But lately, a new sound has been filling the construction zone here in Mandan…and that’s the sound of sirens.
Ryan Duletski is a sergeant with the Highway Patrol and tells KX News people are not as alert as they should be in the work zone
“Whether it’s distracted driving with texting or being on the phone or just looking at a radio, or it can be more generic like simply not paying attention, when you combine that with speed or a shorter following distance with the car in front of you a little bit of distraction shortens up that stopping distance”, said Duletski.
If you’ve noticed an increase in patrols in the 10-mile work zone on I-94, you’d be right.
In fact, so far the highway patrol has issued 233 citations and responded to 20 accidents…both of those are higher numbers than the last big construction project in 2017 at this point of the year.
The increase in patrols are an effort to get drivers to slow down.
Because in that work zone is someone’s father, someone’s husband or someone’s friend…one of those workers is Todd Christensen…he works mere feet from heavy traffic.
“If they’re in a hurry in the morning to get to work, leave a little earlier, because they’re aware of the traffic that’s out here, the traffic control and the work, so it would be greatly appreciated, these guys all got families at home and they all wanna make it home,” said worker Todd Christensen.
So slow down, and leave the phone alone when in the work zone…someone’s life may depend on it.
The Highway Patrol reminds you that the minimum fine in the work zone is eighty dollars but that number can jump substantially based on your citation.