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Troopers increasing enforcement around road work zones

With an increasing number of road projects this time of year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it is stepping up enforcement around those areas.

From the Lafayette Street Interchange and Missouri River Bridge projects in Jefferson City, to the I-70 replacement bridge project and dozens of smaller construction zones across Mid-Missouri, there is a good chance you will run into road work this time of year.

In 2015, nine people died in work zone crashes across the state. And more than 550 people were hurt in construction area wrecks.

“As spring and summer approaches, there are going to be more and more construction zones popping up not only in Mid-Missouri but throughout the state,” Lt. Paul Reinsch with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. “Troopers will be working those construction zones to get people to slow down to pay attention and just make it as safe as possible for the workers that are there.”

Last year, there were nearly 1,700 crashes in work zones in Missouri. The two years before that, 26 people were killed in work-zone crashes.

“Those workers are very close to the actual traffic,” Reinsch said. “And they’re trying to do their job as they’re doing that, so it’s a very dangerous place to be. So they just need to be, the driver needs to be cognitive of that, make sure they’re as attentive as they can be because there’s a lot of things going on, people moving around machinery and other dangers.”

The top five factors that led to work zone crashes last year were drivers following too closely, not paying attention, improper lane changes, not yielding and driving too fast for conditions, according to MoDOT.

If you do not obey the construction zone speed limit or other posted signs, you could face a fine of $250 dollars on top of the fine for the original offense.

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