Work Zone Safety

On average, there are more than 4,300 work zone motor vehicle crashes annually in Illinois, with more than 1,000 resulting in injuries. Last year, 29 people died a result of those crashes. Three were workers doing their jobs.

Work Zone Safety Awareness Week - March 23-27, 2015

In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Illinois Tollway is working in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police and the highway construction industry to raise awareness of work zone safety.

Illinois motorists are encouraged to "Expect the Unexpected" in work zones this construction season. The goal is to reduce the number of severe crashes and remind drivers to "See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives."

For more information, please see the Illinois Department of Transportation's work zone safety Web page.

In Work Zones

The Illinois Tollway reminds you to:

Slow down whether or not workers are present.
Drive the posted speed limit at all times, 24/7, because:

  • It's the law
  • Work zone traffic lanes are narrower than other lanes
  • Traffic patterns shift often
  • Pavement may be uneven in sections

Penalties for hitting a worker are severe.
The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone:

  • $375 for the first offense
  • $1,000 minimum for second offense
  • Hitting a worker in a work zone could result in a fine of $10,000 and up to 14 years in jail

Move over for emergency vehicles.
Illinois law requires drivers approaching emergency vehicles stopped along the roadway to:

  • Reduce speed
  • Change lanes if possible
  • Proceed with caution

Pay attention.
Watch for signs advising of traffic shifts, roadway incidents and other warnings.

Drop It and Drive.
Using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal in Illinois.

Don't tailgate.
One of the most common crashes in a work zone is a rear-end collision. In addition, traffic in work zones makes sudden stops.

Watch for workers.
Keep an eye out for the safety colors of orange and fluorescent lime-green that all workers wear when on the roads.

If you must pull over or are in an accident in the work zone, stay in your vehicle.
Call *999 for non-emergency roadway assistance.

At Toll Plazas

Never stop in an I-PASS or Pay Online lane.
It is unsafe to stop in an I-PASS or Pay Online lane. If you find yourself unintentionally in an I-PASS or Pay Online lane, continue through the lane; do not stop. Visit the Tollway's website within 7 days to pay the missed toll and avoid violations.

Slow down when entering and exiting toll plazas.
Obey the speed limit and stop, as required, in cash and unmanned ramp lanes. Be alert for slower moving traffic and allow time to decelerate. A 45 mph speed limit begins approximately one-half mile from most toll plazas. In rural areas where the speed limit is 65 or 70 mph, the speed limit is reduced to 55 mph about two miles in advance of a plaza. Drivers should not accelerate too quickly upon exiting toll plazas as multiple lanes merge into a reduced number of lanes.

Stay in your lane when entering and exiting toll plazas.
Solid lines indicate that it is illegal to change lanes. Solid lines approaching and departing the toll plazas prompt motorists to select a lane sooner and prevent erratic lane changing. Pay attention to overhead signs and pavement markings when approaching a plaza and stay in your lane. Switching lanes close to a toll plaza is unsafe.

Remember, ramp plazas have I-PASS or Pay Online lanes.
Most ramp toll plazas have I-PASS or Pay Online lanes. I-PASS users do not have to stop in I-PASS or Pay Online lanes. The speed limit for I-PASS or Pay Online lanes on ramps is 15 mph. All cars in the cash lanes must stop, as required by law.