Look, I get it, it's Michigan. We have all the regular seasons, plus one more, construction. It's annoying, it's inconvenient and it's easy (for some) to just blow right through it all saying "ain't nobody got time for that."

Why, though? When did people stop caring about what is not only safe driving for themselves in construction zones, but for the safety of the other cars and, of course, the safety of the crews working to improve road conditions?

In 2020 alone, FOX 17 reports (citing data from MDOT), there were 4,035 crashes in work zones. As a result, there were 14 total deaths and over 1,000 injuries.

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Construction Zone Safety in Michigan - Laws and Penalties for Violations

There are signs reminding us of fines being doubled in construction zones, should you get caught. There are also signs that remind us what can happen if you injure or, God forbid, kill a construction worker.

More specifically, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) breaks down exactly the fines and penalties that can happen should you get pulled over or cause an accident in a work zone:

  • Jail & Fines: As we mentioned, the signs do remind you of what can happen. However, to get a bit more specific, the punishments involving jail time and fines actually stem from Public Act 103, per MDOT, also known as "Andy's Law."
    • "The law creates penalties of up to one year in prison for injuring and up to 15 years in prison for killing a highway construction or maintenance worker," MDOT shares. "It also imposes a maximum penalty of $7,500."
  • Increased Insurance Rates: This one kind of goes without explanation. Naturally, if you get a ticket or get into an accident, your insurance company is notified and therefore, your rates go up...What a waste of that $400 refund insured drivers will be getting in 2022, huh?
  • Extra Points on License: Just like increased insurance rates, points on your license also go hand-in-hand with work zone violations. However, according to MDOT, "Public Act 149 of 2002 increased the number of points assessed for speeding in a work zone."

Proposed Legislation for Speed Cameras to Deter Dangerous Driving in Work Zones

You would think having respect for fellow human beings would be enough to deter dangerous driving in work zones, but road rage is very real here in Michigan and often trumps regard for safety.

You also would think people would heed warnings and not risk any of the penalties listed above, yet they do.

So what more can be done to protect people, be that fellow drivers or workers, in work zones?

Well the Michigan Legislature has proposed an idea, in the form of House Bill 5272.

According to FOX 17 West Michigan, the bill would "allow the use of automated speed cameras in work zones" that would be able to sense and snap photos of speeding vehicles (their license plates) and then forward that information to the police who would then send the citation (and subsequent fines/penalties).

 

"There's a lot of transparency on where these are located, what times they're there, so that if people want to avoid that construction zone, they can," Lance Binoniemi, VP of Government Affairs with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association told FOX 17. "It’s not a money grab, it's an attempt to slow people down."

"I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me"

There have been many studies over the years that have proven people are more likely to follow the rules or at least exhibit better behavior when they know they are being watched. Could this be another example that proves just that?

Would knowing there is a greater risk of being "caught" driving dangerously in a work zone make you be a better driver?

Not everybody has friends or family members that are often those same workers that get put in harm's way by other peoples' bad driving, road rage, etc. However, that shouldn't matter. They may not be your friends or your family, but they are someone's and if that isn't enough for you, then maybe getting caught on camera will be.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.