Beginning this Sunday, reckless driving through highway work zones will come with stiffer penalties.
As part of Governor Mitch Daniels' Major Moves initiative, highways in Indiana are being built and repaired at an unprecedented pace, sparking economic growth and increased jobs throughout the state.
However, the increase in highway workers also means more people are put in harm's way when drivers become reckless in the work zones.
"Areas on the side of roads can be very dangerous when a driver is out of control," Brazil City Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said. "Even though there is usually a tremendous amount of lighting in work areas, it does not alleviate the entire risk of an accident."
The first time a driver is cited for speeding through a work zone, they will face a $300 fine. There will be a $500 fine for a second offense and $1,000 for a third.
For reckless or aggressive driving through a highway workzone, motorists will face a fine of up to $5,000. In the unfortunate event of a driver injuring or killing a highway worker, the driver will face a fine of up to $10,000 and the possibility of jail time.
"Speeding and reckless driving is unsafe not just for the driver, but for everyone on or around the road," Loudermilk said.
The law not only protects highway workers, but all motorists traveling through work zones.
Four out of five people killed in highway work zones are motorists. Lat year alone, there were 14 deaths and 636 injuries reported in Indiana's highway work zones, most of which were motorists.
"Safe driving practices should be used by anyone who travels on Indiana roadways," Loudermilk said. "Anything which helps protect the safety of highway workers and other motorists is a good thing,"