COLUMBIA, S.C. — Work zone crashes are increasing across the country and in South Carolina, a new survey shows that 93% of contractors experienced crashes while working in highway construction zones.
The survey, which was released by Associated Contractors of America, claims that 94% of those surveyed feel that works are as dangerous or more dangerous than previous years.
Pete Poore, from the Department of Transportation, says contractors are constantly put in harm’s way, “They’re working inches from death on some occasions because they’re working very close. They’re in a work zone but they’re very close to traffic.”
He says that drivers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the road, “We’re really asking the drivers, it’s really in your hands right now. You need to slow down and pay attention to all these rules and 'regs' that go along with driving through a work zone.”
Leslie Clark, of the Associated Contractors of America, adds that drivers can get reckless around these work zones and that its important to stay patient.
“As you approach a work zone, you start going from two or three lanes to one. That’s really not the time to be speeding around trying to get in front of someone. I just think It’s not worth losing a life just to get to your destination 5 to 10 minutes earlier.”
SCDOT is working to create stricter penalties for drivers caught breaking the law in work zones.