Construction zones are dangerous. They are dangerous for the men and women who are working in them, and if they are on a roadway they are also dangerous for the drivers who are in the area. That’s why construction zone signs, warning and admonishments to “slow down” abound in construction zones. It is a matter of personal safety; lives are in danger any time you mix pedestrians and cars, especially in a work zone.

This summer Texas Department of Transportation has a number of new construction projects around the state. These construction zones are causing delays for drivers (as is often the case) and frustration levels are high. TDOT is aware of this and encouraging drivers to find an alternate route or resign themselves to slowing down and taking it easy as they really don’t have any other choice.

In Texas, as in many states, fines for drivers who ignore construction zone warnings to slow down face severe penalties. In many cases fines for speeding are doubled or even tripled and drivers might have their license suspended as a result of causing a crash in a construction zone. So, if you are driving in Texas this summer be aware that construction abounds and getting ready to slow down-or just find yourself another way of getting where you need to go.

“Traffic gets choked down to one or two lanes where it might be three lanes. People stack up in there and people still have the tendency to be in the same hurry where they need to be and they’ll forget to give enough room, and one of the most common accidents that I see out there, from someone following too closely,” said Sgt. Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department.

Sgt. Barbee says drivers gawking at an accident will sometimes cause another one, or a traffic jam that slows first responders who need to get through.

“When the officers are trying to get to the scene the traffic is stacked up for them, and very often several blocks beyond the accident. And they can’t drive there any faster than anyone else if someone is in their way”.