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Yellow protective fence barrier at street construction site. Warning road sign about utility work

Source: Bilanol / Getty

Amidst a flurry of construction projects in Charlotte and its environs, attention is once again drawn to the imperative of work zone safety.

Despite legislative efforts aimed at bolstering safety in these zones, a staggering 84% of North Carolina contractors have reported a crash within the past year, placing the state significantly above the national average, says WBTV.

Advocates such as the Associated General Contractors of America, alongside State Representative Dean Arp, are advocating for reforms to safeguard both workers and motorists. Proposed legislation seeks to substantially raise fines for speeding in work zones, from $250 to $5,000. Tragic incidents like the death of CJ Brian, a father of four killed in a crash while working on I-40 last year, underscore the urgency of these measures. Speed and alcohol were cited as contributing factors in that fatal accident. Similarly, contractor Skip Partington recounts the loss of one of his workers in an April crash in Wilmington, emphasizing the frequency of close calls experienced by construction crews.

Partington lamented, “We work night and day hard trying to off the roads built,. I’ve been out there many times, five feet from traveling public going 70 miles an hour. And I see their hand on the steering wheel, texting or reading texts.”

Rep. Arp’s proposal includes an educational component, mandating that all new drivers in North Carolina undergo a Work Zone Safety Course before obtaining their driver’s license.

Read the full story here

NC Leaders Striving for Safer Highway Construction Zones  was originally published on