Iowa DOT cautions travelers about work zones over Labor Day holiday

News

August 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reminds motorists that travel during the upcoming Labor Day holiday may be slowed by road construction. The DOT says  several projects on Iowa’s interstate and state roadways may warrant advance planning on the part of drivers.

In Southwest Iowa, the projects include:

  • A staged bridge construction on U.S. 30 northeast of Woodbine in Harrison County has traffic restricted to one lane. Traffic is being maintained with temporary traffic signals.
  • A bridge deck overlay on U.S. 71 south of Atlantic in Cass County has traffic restricted to one lane. Traffic is being maintained with temporary traffic signals.

There are many other ongoing construction and maintenance projects affecting traffic on state, county and local road systems. Details of all current Iowa DOT construction projects can be found at www.511ia.org.

Tips for driving safely in work zones

  • Expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
  • Slow down and do not tailgate. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision.
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and road workers and their equipment.
  • Pay attention to the signs. Warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that reads “End Road Work.”
  • Obey flaggers. The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign; so, you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.
  • Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations, using cell phones, texting or other distractions while driving in a work zone. Texting while driving is illegal in Iowa.
  • Keep up with the traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Do not drive right up to the lane closure and then try to merge.
  • Be patient and stay calm. Work zones are not there to inconvenience travelers. Remember, road workers are improving the road for your use.
  • Watch for persons wearing high visibility (HiViz) apparel. All persons are required by federal law to wear HiViz apparel when in highway work zones.
  • Prepare for your trip to take a little more time. Check radio, TV or websites (www.511ia.org), call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide), or stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter at www.iowadot.com/511/socialmedia.html, or on your mobile phone.
  • Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
  • Be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones.
  • Buckle up. Iowa law requires all persons to be buckled up in the front seat and all persons under age 18 to be buckled up, regardless of vehicle seating position.