In today’s world, you may feel like you see those familiar orange traffic cones on the road more often than not. While work zones often create traffic headaches, they ensure our roadways stay safe for years to come. As you drive through these areas throughout Arkansas, remember that driver safety plays an important role in work zone safety for other drivers, passengers, and workers. Some of the most dangerous types of auto collisions, including: Truck accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents occur in work zone safety and road construction areas on the roadways in Arkansas.
In Arkansas, all moving traffic violation penalties change when you drive through a marked work zone. You will face double the original fine for speeding and other traffic violations if workers are present when an officer pulls you over.
Marked signs that indicate work zones are typically orange and may include:
- Signs that read “road work ahead.”
- A sign with opposing arrows indicating that traffic is heading in both directions in a space that is typically one way.
- A merge sign indicating you need to prepare for lane consolidation.
- A pilot car “follow me” sign on the back of a vehicle.
- A flagger sign with a man on it, indicating that you need to prepare for further instructions from the road crew.
- The “end road work” sign indicating that you have reached the end of increased fines and can resume driving normally.
- Remove all driving distractions. Turn down the radio, stop a call, and focus on the road. You never know what you might encounter in a work zone, and distractions hurt your ability to respond quickly to sudden traffic stops, pedestrian hazards, and other possibilities.
- Slow down. In active work zones, speeding up will not allow you to get through the work zone any faster than the cars around you. Instead, keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Use common courtesy as you merge, and allow for others to merge into lanes with you.
- Follow the signs. Signs are posted to give you ample time to prepare for roadway changes. Pay close attention to the signs so you can react accordingly. Do not wait to merge or reduce your speed. Prepare for changes at a distance to avoid the risk of a traffic incident.
- Avoid “rubbernecking.” Following flashing lights is something many people naturally gravitate towards, but the behavior gets drivers in trouble every day. Keep your eyes on traffic, not on what the road crew is accomplishing or who a police officer pulled over.
- Take timing into account. If you know you are going to drive through a work zone (use Google Maps or another app to identify and plan for delays), give yourself some extra time to get to work or to an appointment. Once you are in a work zone, you cannot control the flow of traffic.
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