DOT Commissioner: Crews Concerned 'About The Horrors Of Being In Work Zone'

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Connecticut will begin imposing stiffer penalties against drivers who speed through work zones.

A new requirement taking effect this month will force motorists into a retraining program if they are convicted of endangering a highway worker.

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The endangerment charge is defined as motorists driving more than 75 mph or truckers going faster than 65 mph in a work zone, the Advocate of Stamford reported.

Those convicted of the offense also will be subject to a two-point reduction on their driver’s license.

Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker said he hears from road crews concerned for their safety all the time.

“About the horrors of being in the work zone, about what it feels like to have cars and trucks going by at 70, 80 miles an hour in the dark,” Redeker told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

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Redeker said workers are often injured by distracted drivers who plow into the huge sand trucks placed at the work zones for protection.

The law also commits more than $100,000 a year for state police crackdowns of violations in work zones and other safety initiatives.

The state DOT plans to measure how long traffic is delayed near work zones to determine how to move traffic more quickly with fewer accidents.

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