(WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Pennsylvania State Police are kicking off National Work Zone Awareness Week this week. The key message is the same as every year: Be extra careful in work zones.
Last year saw more than 4,500 crashes in construction zones across the state of Ohio.
ODOT wants to remind drivers that construction workers are counting on you to slow down and move over.
“They all have families and at the end of the day, they want to go home, and then they only ask for one thing in return and that is for all of us to pay attention,” said Gery Noirot of ODOT.
Under Ohio law, drivers can see additional fines and prison time if they cause accidents in work zones.
In Pennsylvania, changes start Tuesday to the state’s Move Over Law.
The law is for emergency vehicles and approaching an emergency response scene. It also applies to road crews and cars broken down on the side of the highway.
They have to have flares out, their hazard lights on or some other way to alert other drivers who are coming toward them.
“You may know the Move Over Law by its previous name, the Steer Clear Law. But no matter what you call it, the important thing for drivers to remember is that you are required to change lanes when approaching an emergency response area when it is safe to do so,” said Lt. Col. Scott Price with Pennsylvania State Police.
If you can’t safely get into a lane further from the response area, you must instead slow to at least 20 miles an hour less than the speed limit.
First time offenders face a $500 fine. That amount will double and triple for repeat offenders, who will also lose their driving privileges.