MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – If you are traveling through a construction zone in Alabama, there’s about to be even more reason to drive safely.
Changes to a state law go into effect Thursday, July 1, making the fine for any moving traffic violation in a construction zone with workers present $250 or double the regular fine, whichever amount is greater.
Representatives with the Alabama Department of Transportation said the reason for the new law is simple: To keep workers and motorists safe on the highways.
“Every year we’re seeing these work zone fatalities go up, and this law has really been put in place as response to that,” said Allison Green with ALDOT.
According to ALDOT, in 2020 there were 2,378 work zone crashes in Alabama, resulting in 19 deaths and 616 injuries.
Those numbers include both construction workers and motorists.
“It’s so dangerous for workers working out there in these construction zones. Because if a car moves over, just a couple of inches that could end the life of that worker,” Green said.
Previously, doubled fines only applied to speeding.
State Troopers are promising to be more vigilant looking for motorists driving carelessly.
“You need to pay attention to not only your speed, but the vehicle in front of you. You need to allow plenty of distance because, hey, they may have to stop for some reason, and you don’t want your vehicle to crash into theirs’ because you didn’t give enough distance,” said Cpl. Jeremy Burkett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Representatives with ALDOT said another way it’s increasing safety for its workers is by halting all temporary lane closures on interstates starting Friday, July 2, at noon through the holiday weekend.