Police Urge Caution Around Road Work Crews 11-03-00

PHONE: 961-2305
NOVEMBER 3, 2000


Police are advising motorists to drive with extra caution as work crews are out repairing damages caused by the recent storm.

Both public and private work crews are out in numbers repairing state and county roads and bridges, acting Lieutenant Randy Apele of the Traffic Services Section said. And he urged motorists to drive with extra patience and caution as the work proceeds.

During roadway construction, work zones can be dangerous for both construction workers and motorists, Apele noted, adding that a recent statewide survey showed that one of every six Hawaii residents knows a family member or friend who was almost hit by a vehicle while working in a roadway work zone.

He said the state has more than 150 injuries a year in construction-related accidents and averages one fatality every year.

“The most serious injuries to construction workers are usually from being struck by speeding vehicles,” he said.

“It’s important to pay attention to speed limits posted during road construction. The speed limits are designed to provide maximum protection in coned-off work zones.”

Apele said, “Even a small miscalculation can result in an accident that can seriously injure or kill a construction worker. So it’s important to remember to slow down when you enter a work zone and let the work crews do their job.”

Apele offered the following tips to make roadway work zones safer:

  • Expect delays and plan your travel time accordingly to reduce stress that often leads to aggressive driving behavior and “road rage.”
  • Use alternative routes when seeing signs posted in advance of construction. Detours or lane closures may change daily as traffic patterns in work zones are adjusted according to the work being done.
  • Follow the speed limits in work zones, which can differ from normal limits.
  • Be conscientious by remembering that workers may be present even if you don’t see them.
  • Be extra careful at night when construction is often performed to avoid affecting traffic during daylight hours of heavy traffic. Reduced driver visibility can be a danger to workers, so be extra careful when driving through a work zone at night.

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