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Road Crews Concerned About Safety as Drivers Speed Thru Work Zones

Posted: Updated:
Crews paving a portion of Route 33 Crews paving a portion of Route 33
Ronnie Clatterbaugh Ronnie Clatterbaugh
Sign alerting drivers to road work ahead on Route 33 Sign alerting drivers to road work ahead on Route 33
Worker alerting drivers to slowly drive through a work zone along Route 33 Worker alerting drivers to slowly drive through a work zone along Route 33
Traffic backing up along Route 33 as crews work on paving the road Traffic backing up along Route 33 as crews work on paving the road
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Officials are asking drivers to show patience and caution as more crews get to work on roads throughout the commonwealth.

Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation need the hotter temperatures to do things like paving. While slowing down may add minutes to commute times, the workers worry about their safety if drivers aren't paying attention.

"We run into situations where you have a lot of people that like to speed through the work zones," said Ronnie Clatterbaugh with VDOT

A number of projects are underway along Route 33 in Greene and Orange Counties, and VDOT officials say these two-lane type of highways can be some of the most dangerous places to work.

"We run into a lot of near misses. Basically, working on the side of these roads - you know they're very dangerous and near misses - we try to keep an eye on the traveling public, but there's times where we might slip by and it's very easy to get struck out here on the highway," Clatterbaugh said.

"Construction workers get hit by cars almost as regularly as law enforcement officers when they're out there on the side of the road," said Lt. Kevin Freid with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

One project near Barboursville does have pilot cars, so drivers will have to wait until they get a "slow" sign and then follow that car. That does mean traffic backups.

VDOT crews say the best thing you can do is give yourself a little extra time.

Lt. Freid reminds drivers that not obeying the reduced speed limit in a work zone may cost them a little more than time: "There can be an added fine associated with that," he said.