Road repair, maintenance and construction crews are out in force during the summer months here in Colorado. This is for good reason since our weather and climate are a serious one-two punch asphalt and road surfaces as well as bridges, ramps and structures. Perhaps the road repair issue is in the forefront of our minds as recent mudslides in Glenwood Canyon shut down Interstate-70. While crews try to clear the road for safe passage, there also may be long stretches where the work zones are empty, or other zones perhaps passed through may be empty as workers shift to work on I-70.
Work zone rules may be confusing
There have also been other reports around the country of drivers not slowing down in work zones. Nevertheless, many of these work areas are actually vacant, particularly during holiday weekends, yet the signs remain in place, and enforcement may be ongoing. Important details to remember regarding work zones include:
- Fines double or have high minimums for traffic infractions
- Rules are in effect four hours before and four hours after regular work hours
- Failure to slow down is a careless driving violation, and it could be up to a four-point summons
The state must follow the rules too
There are rules for creating a work zone on the road:
- The CDOT must place appropriate signage up in a conspicuous place.
- The signs must indicate that fines are doubled.
- There must be a sign indicating that drivers are leaving the work zone with doubled fines.
Temporary signs hard to see
These rules all make sense, but there are some issues. Most notable are the temporary signs used – these are often moveable, sit lower to the ground and sometimes seem abandoned. Those following a large truck are more likely to miss all or part of the sign’s message because they often cannot see them coming or read them in the split second that they notice it before it is gone.
Drivers can dispute tickets
Those cited with a work zone violation may encounter one or more of the above mitigating factors. Fortunately, drivers do have the right to dispute the ticket. Even when they believe they have a valid point, drivers often get better results when working with an attorney who handles moving violations. These professionals can help reduce fines and penalties, which positively impacts your long-term driving record.