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Oct. 1 marked the beginning of tougher penalties for drivers who speed in Connecticut work zones. Already the state requires drivers to pay double fines for speeding and other reckless actions in construction sites, but the newly effective law calls for traffic offenders to take a retraining class in addition to paying fines. People who apply for a Connecticut driver’s license will also have to answer a question regarding work zone safety.

Workers in the transportation department count the new measures as a victory, and the state DOT has launched an “Obey the Orange” campaign to raise awareness about the fact that human beings’ lives are at risk when negligent motorists break traffic laws in construction zones.

In particular, if a driver is caught going through a work zone at or above 75 miles per hour, then a ticket will be issued. The law is different for drivers of commercial vehicles. Truckers and other operators of large vehicles will be ticketed for exceeding 65 miles per hour in a work zone.

The new law also allows for the extra revenue from the tickets to be used to pay for radar detectors that state troopers will set up on the backs of DOT vehicles parked in construction zones. Drivers clocked by the truck-mounted radars will then be ticketed.

With distracted and drunken driving still causing catastrophes on Connecticut roads, construction workers face risks to life and limb on a daily basis. Work zone accidents too often leave victims with permanent injuries that require lifelong medical treatment. In these cases, injured workers should be aware of their workers’ compensation options, as well as the option to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: The Courant, “DOT Task Force To Drivers: Don’t Endanger Our Lives,” Don Stacom, Sept. 29, 2013

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