DES PLAINES, Ill. — Drive like you work here. That’s the message construction workers and state troopers want you to understand loud and clear.
Construction crews and the Illinois State Police on Tuesday told stories of near-death experiences along Illinois roads. Many said they came within inches of their lives.
“National Work Zone Awareness Week reminds drivers to drive like you work here. To focus on driving safely by putting themselves in the boots of the workers they see improving, rebuilding and patrolling the roadways their using,” Lt. Dominic Chiappini of the Illinois State Police said.
With the summer construction season getting underway, more workers will be on roadways and so will Illinois state troopers patrolling those roadways. They will have a number of speed vans equipment with cameras to catch drivers who don’t obey the law.
On average about 150 are killed nationally in construction zone accidents. IDOT said five out of six crashes kill drivers and their passengers.
Last September, Frank Caputo was killed while working near Chicago O’Hare International Airport. So far, two state troopers have been killed this year while working. Workers and the Illinois State Police are begging people to put down their phones and pay attention.
“I can still remember the sound of the crash when a distracted driver crashed in the back of a truck when I was standing three feet away from it. We shouldn’t have to depend on luck,” John Wagner of the Illinois Tollway said.