CAUTION: Road Work Ahead
In a typical year, the state of Texas has more than 1,000 highway projects under contract. As a result, drivers are likely to encounter a variety of work zone conditions, including uneven pavement, narrow lanes, concrete barriers, slow moving equipment, and loose gravel.
About 100 people, most of them motorists, are killed in work zones across Texas each year.
If you’re traveling in Texas, here’s the law regarding driving in work zones:
Texas law requires you to obey all signs in work zones. Fines for moving violations can be as much as $400 in construction or maintenance work zones marked with signs indicating that fines double when workers are present. You should always see a “Begin . . .” sign at the start of such zones. Enforcement of rules while in the ‘zone’ ends when you see the “End . . .” sign. (Note: I have noticed that the wording on ‘zone’ signs sometimes varies. For instance, the ‘end’ sign may say, “End Road Work”, or “End Work Zone”. Regardless, you should look for and pay particular attention to where a construction or work zone begins and ends.)
- Plan ahead by checking the web at www.dot.state.tx.us for state construction sites where travel may be delayed.
- Allow extra travel time, and be patient. Reducing your speed from 60 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour in a two-mile work zone delays your journey by only ONE minute!
- Observe all work zone warning signs; and, pay attention to flaggers in orange vests directing traffic.
- Merge at the first notice of a lane closure or change.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle, other vehicles, traffic barriers, construction workers, and equipment. Extra caution is required when driving in an active work zone at night!
- Avoid distractions! Don’t use your cell phone or send text messages. Don’t fiddle with the radio controls or your MP3 player.
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