Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DOH steps up law enforcement in work zone areas

 “Just slow down” is the message the state Division of Highways wants West Virginia motorists to know while driving through work zones across the state.

The DOH is working with the West Virginia State Police and other law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement in those targeted areas through September.

“Speeding through a work zone is a serious issue and we feel like we needed to really make a statement to slow people down in work zones,” said Brent Walker, spokesman with the DOH, on Tuesday.

The Charleston Police Department and the DOH held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss their enforcement efforts throughout the summer months.

“We’re looking at every work zone across West Virginia and they’ll be hundreds,” said Walker.

Cpl. Brian Jones said officers will be on site all hours of the day.

“Through the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, we’ve been given overtime money to have officers up there day, noon or night,” said Jones.

Jones said they are not publicizing when those times will be. He said officers will be there to issue speeding tickets for those motorists speeding through the construction zones.

Since the work began along Interstate 64 in Charleston March 27, Jones said they have had 22 motor vehicle accidents.

“That’s way too many for that zone,” he said.

On Tuesday morning, Jones said they issued 20 speeding tickets along I-64 in an hour and a half. “That’s just too fast.”

Jones said speeding in a construction zone results in a $200 fine and 20 days in regional jail.

“If we can get the message out to one person, it may save a life.”