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Special to The Sun—
CHILDRESS – As the summer travel season continues, TxDOT encourages motorists to make sure they take precautions when driving on I-35, especially through construction and maintenance areas.
At any given time, the Texas Department of Transportation has as many as 3,000 active work zones on the 80,000 miles of roadway it maintains across the state, according to a release from TxDOT. I-35 is a major transportation artery and one of the largest active work zones in Texas. In 2019, a total of 20,488 traffic crashes occurred along the I-35 corridor, resulting in 141 deaths and 523 serious injuries.
TxDOT offers the following tips to help motorists stay safe this summer when traveling the state’s highways.
Be safe as you navigate through a work zone.
- Slow down and always follow the posted speed limit. Remember, traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present.
- Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road and put your phone away.
- Watch out for road crews. The only protective gear they wear is a vest, a hardhat and safety boots. Their bodies are no match for your vehicle.
- Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry if you have to. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crash.
- Allow extra time. Road construction slows things down. Count on it, and plan for it.
- Check DriveTexas.org before hitting the road. The website contains information about highway and road conditions throughout the state.
“Move over or slow down.” It’s the law.
- When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, TxDOT vehicle, tow truck or utility vehicle with flashing blue or amber lights on the side of the road, drivers must move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
- Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $2,000.
“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, the release stated. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.