IDOT to Use More Speed Indicators in Work Zones


By Matthew Searcy
By Randy Livingston

WSIL -- Illinois road workers will soon benefit from extra safety measures from the state. The Department of Transportation has a new plan to cut down on speeding in construction zones. 

IDOT engineers plan to add more speed indicator signs to protect highway workers.  
"It does catch the travelers attention," said IDOT engineer Doug Helfrich.   
The idea is to remind drivers to slow down, reducing the risk of an accident involving highway workers.  
"When a car approaches, it will have a radar and it will actually approach your speed," explained Helfrich. "It's just a tool to use to try to slow the traffic down as they approach work zones."  
IDOT engineers say these signs have been used for several years but only as a trial run. The department wanted to determine the effectiveness of the signs before expanding.  
"It was an experimental project, but now the department has data that shows that these speed indicator signs do reduce the speeds," explained Helfrich.  
The pilot program had 13 speed-indicator boards in work areas across the state last year, but that number will now increase dramatically.  
"Every interstate work zone that has a lane closure, you will see these signs," said Helfrich.  
IDOT does not own these signs but instead will be renting them during the construction season. Each sign costs about $1,000 to rent for every six months.  
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