Hoosier Drivers Urged to Safely Travel Work Zones

(Indianapolis, IN) – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officially marked the start of its 2024 construction season and emphasized the critical importance of work zone safety as construction and road maintenance projects begin across the state.

INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith was joined by Indiana State Police, Indiana Constructors Inc., agency employees and industry partners at INDOT’s Indianapolis Subdistrict office for an event marking the seventh year of delivering Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s Next Level Roads plan, which invests $60 billion over 20 years to improve existing roads and bridges and finish major projects in Indiana. The plan was enacted with bipartisan support via House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1002 in 2017.

“We have made leaps and bounds when it comes to improving roads and bridges in Indiana,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Our top-rated infrastructure and transportation network is making it easier for Hoosiers to get where they need to go and making Indiana even more attractive for continued economic development and persistent growth.”

INDOT will deliver just over 1,000 construction projects in 2024. When combined with preventative maintenance, the state is investing more than $2.8 billion in infrastructure improvements.

Work Zone Safety

Earlier this year INDOT announced a new goal related to safety, renewing the agency’s hyperfocus on safer roadways and work zones in Indiana.

“INDOT’s goal is to reduce fatalities and incapacitating injuries on Indiana roadways by 25 percent in the next decade,” said Commissioner Smith. “Part of that is also reducing work zone incidents by five percent. Changing driver behavior is huge in this effort, and is likely our biggest challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to educate Hoosiers on the importance of safe driving habits. We urge drivers to slow down in work zones, wear your seatbelts and put the phone down.”

In late 2023, INDOT launched Buckle Up Phone Down, a public safety initiative tackling two of the most impactful actions both drivers and passengers can take to prevent crashes and serious injuries – or survive if one occurs. The initiative has direct ties to the 2024 National Work Zone Awareness Week theme:

Additionally, INDOT will implement its worksite speed control pilot program this fall in effort to improve safety for both motorists and workers in work zones. The five-year pilot was authorized by HEA 1015 during the 2023 legislative session.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of making smart decisions behind the wheel, especially in work zones,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine. “The choices you make may seem small, but they have huge impact. The lives of road crews, law enforcement and other drivers are at stake.”

During the event, INDOT Highway Technician Joe Greene shared his story of when he was struck in a work zone last spring. He returned to work this past March.

“Please slow down and pay attention,” Greene said. “No text, phone call or destination is worth someone else’s life.”

To prepare for construction season, Indiana drivers are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by visiting 511in.org or downloading INDOT’s TrafficWise app to see real-time traffic conditions and construction project updates. Hoosiers can also view upcoming projects on INDOT’s Next Level Roads Map. To report a roadway concern, visit indot4u.com.

This week, INDOT is recognizing National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 15-19). Join the agency in promoting safety in work zones by sharing messaging on social media. Drivers are reminded to slow down, buckle up and avoid distractions as they travel this construction and road maintenance season. More information on work zone safety is available online at http://workzonesafety.in.gov.

(Indiana Department of Transportation press release)