Roadside crews encourage drivers to slow down for Work Zone Awareness Week

Roadside crews encourage drivers to slow down for Work Zone Awareness Week

Florida law says drivers must slow down or move over for stopped emergency vehicles and work zones. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says that drivers breaking that law have caused more than 200 crashes so far this year.

"Most cars drive by a work zone. They're not really looking at the signs, they drive by the signs every day. They're unaware of what's actually going on there. They've got warning signs, but most people do not pay attention to them," said Robert Slingsby with Panhandle Graving and Paving.

Robert Slingsby told Channel 3 News that he has had some close-calls before while out on the job site.

"Unfortunately one guy ran the stop sign. We were stopping traffic and the trooper that was there, he went and ticketed the guy for running the stop sign. He said, 'that guy almost hit you'. I said 'yes,'" said Slingsby

Florida's 'Move Over' law requires drivers to slow down 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit or move over a lane for emergency and utility vehicles.

Drivers are also required to obey traffic laws around work zones.

"Well if you can move over get in the other lane, if not, make sure you do slow down, " said driver Liz Sharpton.

Roadside workers told Channel 3 News that not all drivers pay attention.

"When the traffic's coming by, the driver may be distracted looking down on their text, phone or anything like that. So we keep the cones here and sometimes we use flaggers, but just an added element of a hazard of someone bearing into our work zone can always lead to tragic consequences," said Gordon Paulus, the Communications specialist for Gulf Power

The crew members just want to get the job done safe and sound.

"You're not going to drive a BMW down a broken up road. So if we don't fix this you're not going to be able to drive here much longer," said Slingsby

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