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STATEWIDE–The penalties you could face for speeding or driving erratically in a construction zone are not worth it, so slow down. That’s the message from law enforcement officers and Matt Bair with WIBC traffic.

During his traffic reports, Bair reminds people that the penalties for speeding in a construction zone or hitting a construction worker are steep. 

“You’re talking about $300 on the first offense. On a second offense if that didn’t teach you, you’re going to have to pay $500. And if that didn’t teach you, you’re going to be paying $1,000 on a third offense and you might lose your license. That’s all within a three-year span,” Bair said. 

It’s even worse if you hit a worker. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker may end up paying a $10,000 fine and serving up to six years behind bars.

“That’s why this week is so important. You’re putting your own life in danger in these situations too. It is definitely a felonious act,” Bair said. 

Emergency vehicles also need to be given courtesy on the road too. 

“In the state of Indiana, you must slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, by law. It’s also the same for construction vehicles, utility vehicles, garbage trucks, all of those are covered under Indiana law to slow down and move over,” said State Police Sergeant John Perrine. 

Perrine says if you’re in a position where you can’t move over, you still need to slow down. 

“If you can’t move over because there’s traffic, there’s not an open lane, or there’s no lane at all, you must reduce your speeds to at least 10 mph under the speed limit. When I say ‘at least’, if you see a bunch of flashing lights, then you should be slowing down even more,” Perrine said. 

The slogan for this week from INDOT is “Drive Like You Work Here.” Both Bair and Perrine said it emphasizes that this week is about everybody being safe in a work zone and that INDOT is looking out for your safety just as much as they are their own workers. 

You can read more about National Work Zone Awareness Week here. 

(PHOTO: Eric Berman/WIBC)