CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – State troopers are reminding drivers to be careful in work zones after three Ohio Department of Transportation crews were hit within a week.
According to Matt Bruning, Ohio Department of Transportation spokesperson, four ODOT workers were injured in three crashes across the state within the past week.
ODOT crews, vehicles and equipment were hit nearly 180 times in 2019, according to officials.
Several people told 2 NEWS they often see other drivers not being careful in work zones.
“You’ll see them flying past and you never really know when they’re going to get over or if they’re going to get over and hit you, and then you have to get over,” said Tonya Griffin, who commutes to the Miami Valley from the Cincinnati area for work.
“You’re supposed to slow down, watch the signs,” said Larry Salyer, who lives in Miamisburg.
According to troopers, work zone crashes happen regularly, including in the Dayton area.
“We see at least one severe one a year,” said Sgt. Frank Simmons of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton post.
Sgt. Simmons told 2 NEWS it’s important to follow the posted speed limit, give yourself plenty of following distance from the car in front of you and pay attention.
“Anything can happen in these zones, so you have to be a defensive driver,” he said.
On local roads, drivers also need to look out for other types of crews, along with those making road repairs, Simmons added.
“There’s also building construction or tree cutting,” he said. “Waste management is out there on the road.”
“Whatever you’re trying to get to that fast, it’s not as important as all these other people’s lives,” Griffin said.
All four ODOT workers injured in the past week have been released from the hospital, Bruning said.
Drivers may face increased penalties for violations made in work zones, Sgt. Simmons said.