Road construction calls drivers to follow signs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Road construction calls drivers to follow signs


Driving through a construction zone is illegal. Police in one city say they've seen and increase in motorists disobeying signage for road closures and detours. According to the Federal Highway Administration, over the last 10 years, the number of people killed annually in motor vehicle crashes in construction zones has increased by 45%. Each year, more than 40,000 people are injured as a result of crashes in construction zones. Now law enforcement is cracking down in order to ensure safety.

Dubuque Police are talking about a specific area, along Central Avenue in Dubuque. Between 21st and 32nd Streets. That's where crews are working to repair various parts of the road. And while it may look like one lane is open, the signs tell you otherwise.

"Maybe they don't think it applies to them. Which obviously creates several concerns for us," Lt. Scott Baxter said.

Standing along Central Avenue in Dubuque, you'll see plenty of signs.

"We've been seeing people disregard the 'road closed to thru traffic'," Baxter said.

And that's posing a danger for construction crews.

"Safety of these workers is out top priority. And it's hazardous for the motorists and the motor vehicles to drive through here as well," Baxter.

But the problem is, drivers are passing the road closed to through traffic signs because it looks like one lane is open.

"Road closed to thru traffic means if you do not reside within the road closed or have legitimate business within the construction zone then you aren't supposed to drive through it," Baxter said.

So police are cracking down. If they see you drive through, it's a $195 ticket. But while we stood at the corner of 25th and Central, we saw no signs of people obeying the law. In fact, we counted more than 20 cars in 20 minutes. Baxter says officers are heavily patrolling the area.

"Its just so much easier to everyone involved. It's so much safer, so much cheaper if they follow the detour or stay out of the construction zone all together," Baxter said.

Baxter also says driving through the construction zone is slowing down the process of the project, which is expected to last through the summer. We don't have an exact number of citations issued in the last few days. But we saw two and construction just started about two weeks ago.

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