Work Zone Safety

On average, there are more than 7,000 work zone motor vehicle crashes in Illinois every year. The 19 fatal crashes in 2012 involved fatalities to 13 drivers, three passengers and three pedestrians - two of which were workers.

In Work Zones

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.

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 can be narrower than other lanes
  • Traffic patterns shift often
  • Pavement may be uneven in sections

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 florescent lime-green that all workers wear when on the roads.

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 police or other emergency vehicles stopped along the roadway to:

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

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 Only lane.
It is unsafe to stop in an I-PASS lane. If you find yourself unintentionally in an I-PASS 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 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 the lane you choose. Switching lanes close to a toll plaza is unsafe.

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