The Drive will keep you up to speed with the latest on Twin Cities commuting.

Speed through a work zone, get a $300 fine

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: July 28, 2014 - 10:45 AM

 

 

Motorists who speed through work zones and get caught will face a hefty fine. A new law that was passed during the last legislative session sets the fine at $300 plus the cost of the ticket.

The law goes into effect on Friday and also includes motorists who fail to obey directions given by flaggers.

"Many work zones are in place across the state, and many workers are in those work zones improving our state’s transportation system,” said Charlie Zelle, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner. “This law is important because it provides added protection in areas that can be vulnerable to careless drivers.”

A press conference to announce the new law was held earlier this morning.

Since 1960, 34 Minnesota Department of Transportation construction workers and 15 private contractors have been killed while working on Minnesota highways.

Additionally, there are lots of crashes that don't kill MnDOT workers, but do kill other motorists. Here is some data that was given to the Drive earlier this summer:

Year       Fatals    Total Crashes

2010       11           1,973

2011       8              1,620

2012       4              1,935

2013       8              1,740

"Safety in the work zone is one of our top priorities," said Sue Groth, state traffic engineer. "We hope htis new increased fine will draw attention of motorists to slow down when driving past workers."

This summer MnDOT and the Department of Public Safety and the Minnesota Department of Public Health joined together on a campaign called  "Orange Cones. No Phones" featuring messages on billboards and radio spots reminding drivers to hang up their phones and pay attention in work zones.

That was part of the Toward Zero Deaths initiative, which over the past 10 years has brought the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads from 655 in 2003 to 387 last year.

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