(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) – Recent deaths of road workers along Alabama highways are a sober reminder that there is little room for error when driving through a work zone. A new campaign from the Alabama Department of Transportation promotes work zone safety while making drivers aware of recent changes to the state’s construction zone law.Fines for any moving traffic violation committed in a construction zone where workers are present will now result in a $250 fine or double the regular fine, whichever amount is greater.
Double fines aren’t just for speeding anymore. Distracted driving, tailgating, aggressive driving or any moving violation will result in a double fine under the amended Alabama law. The Alabama Legislature’s amendments to the construction zone law went into effect July 1, 2021, as the number of injuries and fatal crashes in work zones increased in 2020. There were 2,378 work zone crashes in Alabama in 2020, resulting in 19 fatalities and 616 injuries. These numbers include road workers and motorists.
“Not a game,” is the theme of the new Drive Safe Alabama work zone public service announcement (PSA) from ALDOT and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The PSA uses the popularity of game shows to bring attention to the state’s current work zone safety law. TV and radio stations statewide will broadcast the PSA, and the campaign will be shared on the Drive Safe Alabama Twitter and Facebook pages.
“We want drivers to be aware not only of the new fines in a work zone, but of the people who are putting their lives at great risk to keep Alabama roads in good condition,” said Allison Green, Drive Safe Alabama Coordinator with ALDOT. “Driving through a work zone is not a game, and our new PSA highlights some of the violations that will result in double fines and could cost a road worker their life.”
“As Rebuild Alabama projects begin to cover the state, more and more traffic related work zones will be encountered,” said John Whitman with Mobile Asphalt Co. and current president of the Alabama Road Builders Association. “With the implementation of the new “Double Fines” law, we anticipate slower speeds and heightened awareness from the traveling public, which will no doubt provide a much safer environment for the dads, moms, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who wear the vest every day.”
Work Zone Safe Driving Tips
Drive alert. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for highway workers, reduced speed limits and changes to the roadway.
Move over. Give workers more space if the roadway allows.
Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.