According to a release, last year, at least 33 Washington State Patrol (WSP) vehicles were hit by distracted drivers while troopers were either at construction zones, or conducting traffic stops, or clearing a collision. As of June of this year, 11 WSP vehicles were struck while troopers were stopped on the side of the road, with emergency lights activated. The numbers are on the rise. In 2014, 25 drivers ran into patrol vehicles.
Trooper Reynolds said,” Talking on their phones, texting, taking pictures or entering coordinates into their GPS units, all of these activities take driver’s attention away from the roadways.”
Drivers are especially reminded to pay particular attention to the road while in work zone. Since the summer construction season is in full swing throughout Grays Harbor, many drivers are traveling through WSDOT work zones on a daily basis.
There is an average of 916 work zone injuries on state roads each year. Many times, it’s not even the workers that are most at risk. Drivers, passenger or passing pedestrians make up 96 percent of people hurt in work zone crashes in Washington.
“Drivers can do their part too by slowing down and staying focused on the road at all times for the safety of our workers and for themselves and their fellow travelers,” said Justin Fujioka of WSDOT.
As local roadwork continues, drivers are reminded to pay attention, and remember that fines double in construction zones.