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What are some rules that apply in Pennsylvania work zones?

Spring is just around the corner, and folks in Pottsville know what that means: road work. Soon the orange barriers will be up and work zone speed limits will be in effect. For workers in these work zones, it means another work season will begin. Sunburn and heat exhaustion are not the only dangers faced by road workers, unfortunately. Since 1970, 87 employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have been killed in work zone crashes. Many more have suffered serious injuries.

In an effort to make work zones safer, Pennsylvania has enacted a number of laws that regulate the conduct of drivers in work zones. One distinctive rule is that drivers must turn on their vehicle's headlights and taillights while traveling through a work zone, even if there are no workers present.

More rules apply when the work zone in question is an active work zone, meaning a work zone in which workers are present. Active work zones are marked in the Keystone State with a white flashing light. Drivers who drive at dangerously high speeds through active work zones face a 15-day suspension of their driver's license. Additionally, all penalties for certain traffic violations and misdemeanors are doubled if the infraction happens in an active work zone. This can range from doubled fines for speeding to doubled fines and jail time for drunk driving.

These are not the only problems an unsafe driver might face for harmful driving in an active work zone, however. If a road worker suffers a personal injury as a result of the negligent driving of another person, that other person may be liable to the road worker in a court of law. Those who have been harmed in a car accident, whether while on the job or not, should consider the legal options available to them to pursue compensation.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "Work Zone," accessed on March 11, 2017

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