Work Zone Safety
Work Zone Safety
Each year, the Illinois Tollway along with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police commit to getting the word out that work zone safety affects drivers as well as construction workers.
This year, we are asking you to Drive Like You Work Here.
There have been too many incidents where people have been killed or injured while doing their jobs building or maintaining roads. And it’s not just construction workers. In Illinois, almost four out of five work zone fatalities involve someone other than a worker.
To learn more, visit the Illinois Tollway’s Safety webpage and the National Work Zone Awareness Week website.
Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones
WATCH FOR WORKERS.
Keep an eye out for the safety colors of neon orange and yellow that all workers wear when on the roads.
SLOW DOWN WHETHER OR NOT WORKERS ARE PRESENT. It's the law.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit
- 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:
- $250 for the first offense
- $750 minimum for second offense
- Hitting a worker in a work zone could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 14 years in jail
Illinois law requires drivers to slow down and change lanes safely when approaching ANY vehicle with its hazard lights on, not just emergency and maintenance vehicles.
- Reduce speed
- Change lanes if possible
- Proceed with caution
DROP IT AND DRIVE.
Using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal in Illinois. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
Watch for signs advising of traffic shifts, roadway incidents and other warnings.
One of the most common crashes in a work zone is a rear-end collision. In addition, traffic in work zones makes sudden stops.
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.
Pay attention to overhead signs and pavement markings when approaching a plaza and stay in your lane. Solid lines approaching and departing the toll plazas prompt motorists to select a lane sooner and prevent erratic lane changing. 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.