Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Sept. 17, 2013

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT implores motorists to drive safely in work zones

Two recent work zone crashes resulted in death and serious injury

ST. PAUL, Minn. —The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to slow down and pay attention in construction work zones following a deadly Monday (Sept. 16) when at least three people were killed within a span of five hours — of which one motorist was killed in a work zone and another was seriously injured in a road construction zone.

Yesterday, a motorist was killed in Brooklyn Park near Shingle Creek Parkway and I-694, and the serious injury crash occurred on Hwy 212 in Plato, Minn., west of the Twin Cities Metro Area.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported that there were 26,502 crashes in work zones in the past five years, resulting in 41 deaths and 4,017 injuries.

“Speed and driver inattention are the main causes of work zone crashes,” said Charlie Zelle, MnDOT Commissioner. “No one likes to be inconvenienced by work zones, but we all need to be patient and drive accordingly.”

Motorists are reminded to obey the posted speed limits inside work zones as fines for speeding may double. Motorists must further understand the dynamic nature of work zones and that they can constantly change. Lane shifts and lane closures can take place with regularity, and workers and construction equipment are always present and moving about.

DPS cites there have been 258 traffic deaths to-date in 2013, up from 248 at this time last year. Officials remind motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists that these crashes are preventable: Be attentive, drive at safe speeds, buckle up and wear protective gear, and drive sober. Officials remind everyone to share the road and drive cooperatively, not competitively.
“We’re asking motorists step up and take action to help reduce these tragedies,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol. “Crashes are the result of unsafe driver behavior or decisions which can be prevented.”

Motorists are reminded never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones; not to make unnecessary lane changes; stay off cell phones and mobile devices; to be patient and expect delays.

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Pay Attention Slow Down in Workzones