Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, who spoke at a National Work Zone Awareness Week event in Chicago last month stated: “Slow down, put the phone down, pay attention to your surroundings… you could save a life and more than likely it will be your own, as 4 out of 5 work zone fatalities are not our workers but drivers traveling through work zones.”
The Chicago Tribune reported recently that construction zone traffic fatalities have risen nationally, but fortunately, decreased in Illinois last year. There were 44 and 46 Illinois construction zone deaths in 2015 and 2016, but only 29 in 2017. Nationally there were 765 in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is touting efforts made with law enforcement to help make construction zones safer as the reason for the improvements. Specifically, IDOT has been working with the Illinois State Police to help improve safety by cracking down on speeders and distracted drivers within construction zones.
Nationally, the excuses for the increase in deaths appear to be the same. Paul Pisano, team leader for road weather and work zone management for the Federal Highway Administration blamed the increase in traffic deaths to there being on the road, distracted driving and the amount of construction work being done.
Hopefully other states, and the federal government, can take a look at Illinois, and the efforts made with law enforcement to help improve safety in construction zones nationwide. Illinois is far from perfect when it comes to traffic safety as there have been increases in pedestrian deaths in recent years. But hopefully the improvements seen in construction zones can be applied to all areas of traffic safety.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076