TAMPA, Fla. - Driving on local roads and highways is a different experience these days, with significantly less traffic and more construction.
Road repair and utility is expanding to make good use of the low traffic volume, but Florida Highway Patrol says speeders are still proving to be a dangerous problem.
“We do have people that are traveling too fast,” said FHP spokesperson Sgt. Steve Gaskins. “Lane shifts ahead.’ ‘Workers present.’ When you see all those warning signs that is a key to you the driver that you need to reduce your speed.”
According to the Florida Department of Transportation's website, construction crews are spread out across over 100 separate projects in the Tampa Bay Region alone.
This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation honors National Work Zone Awareness Week, reminding drivers to slow down for road crews.
“In 2018, here in Florida, we had 80 traffic fatalities in work zones,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “This is a problem. We see it frequently. Fines are doubled…for distracted drivers, for speeding drivers in a work zone for a very good reason.”
Depending on where you are and how fast you’re going, zipping through a work zone could cost the offender anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Speeders aren’t the only threat FDOT construction workers are facing. A spokesperson for the company says they are taking the following precautions to protect their crews against COVID-19:
- Maintaining worker separation and the elimination of close contact ride sharing
- Dedicated personal protective gear, like safety vests, gloves and mask
- Sanitizing practices for jobsites