- Beth Petrowske
MnDOT District 1
1123 Mesaba Ave
Duluth, MN 55811
MnDOT reminds motorists to, watch for highway workers, obey traffic flaggers
DULUTH, Minn. — Even though summer is over, Minnesota road construction and maintenance continues through the fall months. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists to obey work zone flaggers and watch out for workers in work zones.
In 2011 there were eight fatalities and approximately 1,613 crashes in Minnesota work zones.
MnDOT flagger Dustin Peterson holds a damaged sign after a near-miss that occurred in a Highway 61 work zone near Little Marais. Peterson tried to alert a motorist, who didn’t see him at the entrance to a work zone. He had to drop his stop sign and run into the ditch to avoid getting hit. The motorist slammed on his brakes and slid to a stop on top of the sign.
“MnDOT flaggers have experienced several recent incidents of motorists not stopping for them when holding a stop sign,” said Dave Mavec, MnDOT Traffic engineer. “Not only is this against the law, it’s extremely dangerous for our road workers and other motorists.”
The fine for a stop sign violation in a work zone is $185.
MnDOT highway workers are required to wear specific safety equipment and receive regular safety training.
“We need motorists to do their part too to keep themselves and our road workers safe, particularly as the amount of daylight hours decreases,” said Mavec.
Research shows the main causes of work zone crashes are excessive speed and driver inattention.
Pay attention in work zones
- Stay alert, especially at night, when driving through work zones.
- Obey posted speed limits. Fines may double for violations in work zones.
- Never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.
- Avoid using cell phones and mobile devices while driving.
- Be patient. Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.