IDOT Reminds Drivers to “Embrace the Orange”

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There's no doubt you probably see one or more construction projects as you drive around the Quad Cities. As those projects pick up, safety officials are reminding you to watch out for workers and "embrace the orange."

"Embrace the Orange" is the slogan for the Illinois Department of Transportation's new campaign - announced on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - as part of Work Zone Awareness Week.

Highway safety officials want you to start thinking "yellow" when you see "orange"... meaning slow down when you spot orange cones, barricades, signs, and most importantly - workers.

Two construction workers have already been killed in Illinois this year alone.

IDOT says the combination of an early start to the construction season because of the warm weather and more distractions while you drive like cell phones make it easy for people to forget how dangerous construction zones are.

"Eliminate the distractions when you approach the work zones, not only in the work zones, but as you're coming up to them because there's a possibility of backed up traffic prior to work zones so just slow down, pay attention, drive safely through work zones,and arrive home safe," says Eric Therkildsen, Deputy Director of Highways with IDOT.

If that's not enough, remember how expensive it is if you hit a construction worker... up to a $10,000 fine and up to 14 years in prison.

The finds for speeding through work zones are also expensive and include a $375 fine for a first offense, a $1,000 fine for a second offense plus a 90-day suspension of your driver's license. Also, if you're caught talking or texting on your cell phone, it's a $120 fine.