As of October, 1st 2016 it is illegal to use your cell phone in road work zones. If you are caught by a member of law enforcement while talking on your phone in a work zone, you will face a fine starting at $40.00 and increasing to $100.00 for any subsequent violation. Using a hands-free device, such as Bluetooth, or dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency is still completely legal.
Work zones are not just limited to road work. Emergency vehicles on the side of the road, snowplows with flashing lights, and garbage trucks are all considered work zone areas. Protect yourself and those around you by eliminating distractions, as this law was designed to combat against our dependence of cellular devices.
2. Give break room between automobiles.
3. Be patient and follow the law — speeding in a work zone will result in double the fine and penalties often increase annually.
4. Plan ahead by taking an alternative route, this can save you time, a headache, and reduce the risk of an accident.
Distracted driving is a major cause of automobile crashes in Wisconsin. Not just the workers are at risk, you are as well. Workers in these zones are at high risk, but the truth is most work zone accident fatalities involve drivers and passengers. Work zones have frequent lane changes and reductions in speed — for this reason traveling through work zones requires maximum concentration. It’s not just workers you have to look out for, but also other drivers and especially that one person who decides to merge into your lane at the last second.
The State of Wisconsin experiences nearly 2,000 work zone related accidents in annually. If you injure someone in a work zone, you can face double to triple the cost in fines and up to three and a half years in prison. If you are convicted of vehicular manslaughter in a work zone these fines will be even higher and you could face up to ten years behind bars. If you are a repeat offender or intoxicated, the fines will be even more severe.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hosts a website (www.511wi.gov) which posts road condition and construction zone information. This site is great for planning alternate routes to work, as the orange construction cone should be the new Wisconsin state flower. Save time and plan ahead by visiting this website when your favorite route to work is under construction.
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