ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Department of Transportation is rolling out new equipment to help improve safety in roadway work zones.

VDOT says temporary portable rumble strips will protect both workers and drivers.

"Distracted driving has become the number-one concern," VDOT Spokesperson Lou Hatter said.

"It's going to make your car bump a little bit," said Ronnie Dollins, VDOT.

Drivers will see signs warning of rumble strips ahead and to travel with caution. The strips will encourage drivers to slow down in work zones.

"It lets us flashers and workers know when cars are coming,” said Dollins. “The louder the noise on the rumble strip, the more the car is speeding."

VDOT says in the last few years, they've seen an increase in the number of motorists driving into work zones at excessive speeds. In 2018, nine people were killed in active work zones, and there were more than 2,500 work zone crashes.

Each strip costs $11,000. Six are installed on each work zone that fits the criteria of being a paved road with a center line stripe. The road also has to have a minimum speed limit of 35- miles-per hour, and at least 500 drivers on it a day.

"There's quite a significant investment statewide to do this,” Hatter said. “We feel it's worth it for the safety of the traveling public, as well as the safety of our crew members."

"You want to go home safe and you want your fellow workers to go home safe, too," said Dollins.

The portable rumble strips are already being used in central Virginia. By July, all projects in work zones that meet the criteria must include these strips.