Construction zones: Hot zones for car wrecks
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Construction season is upon us, meaning it’s all the more important to pay close attention while driving.
With shifting lanes, traffic cones, busy roads and more — construction zones make for a dangerous area to drive through.
Hastings Police Sergeant Jason Hasse said, across Nebraska, car crash fatalities have increased by 16% since last year. In 2021, there were 100 road fatalities. Slightly more than halfway through 2022, there were already 116 deaths that had happened on Nebraska roadways.
Haase said construction zones are a hot spot for vehicle accidents.
He also said, many of the time, car crashes in construction sites are caused from drivers not paying attention to the road in front of them, and, primarily — people using their cellphones. Because of this, the state is cracking down on these drivers who put others in a dangerous situation.
“Nebraska actually has doubled the fines for traffic infractions in work zones, cellphone usage, and when construction workers are present so, there’s actually an increased fine because there is such a problem with people distracted driving during those in those construction zones,” he noted.
While most of these crashes are vehicles being rear-ended, Haase told Local4 News he’d seen many incidents where vehicles were totaled.
As of Monday, Haase said HPD had received 426 accident calls for service, with 250 of those involving significant property damage. While this is a lower number of accident-related calls for the police department when compared to last year, Haase said it is still a higher-than-usual amount for it being midyear.
Haase also said road and sidewalk construction on Burlington Avenue in the south part of Hastings has been a problematic area for drivers. He encourages drivers to stay alert, to keep off phones and to avoid following too closely behind other vehicles.
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