WORK ZONE SAFETY IS IN YOUR HANDS - Work zones require everyone to stay alert and be prepared for sudden changes that distracted drivers may not notice in time to prevent a crash. It is up to each of us to be vigilant when driving through or near highway work zones. Vermont law now prohibits the use of handheld portable electronic devices (including cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, tablets and laptops) while operating a moving vehicle in a work zone, except for certain emergency communications. Penalties range from $100 to $200 and 2 points for a first violation, and from $250 to $500 and 5 points for subsequent violations. But far worse than a stiff penalty is the risk that road workers may be injured or killed.
Remember that work zone means any properly posted construction, maintenance or utility work site, and rules apply 24/7, not just during the workday.
• Slow down! Speed limits are reduced and fines for speeding are doubled in work zones for a good reason: to protect the workers.
• Follow instructions from flaggers and signs.
• Pay extra attention, minimize distractions and expect the unexpected.
• Do NOT use handheld devices; it’s illegal in Vermont, except for certain emergency communications.
• Turn on headlights for better visibility.
• Be courteous, and merge as instructed, as soon as it is safe to do so.
• Don’t change lanes in the work zone, tailgate, or crowd the road crew. Maintain at least your 4-second following distance and give road workers as much space as possible. Try to keep up with the traffic flow.
• Expect delays and schedule extra time, or seek an alternate route.
• Be patient. Remember that they’re working hard to improve the roads for all of us.