Editorial: Take extra care when driving through work zones

It’s orange barrel season and work zones are appearing throughout Northeast Michigan, as crews begin construction and repairs on area roads and streets.

We remind motorists to take extra caution while traveling through theses zones as workers’ safety should be the top priority. They are focused on the job at hand and shouldn’t have to be more focuses on you than completing their jobs. Road work zones are dangerous, and that danger shouldn’t be increased by negligent drivers.

As a reminder, punishment in work zones is higher, as traffic fines are doubled in work zones, and ticketed drivers receive:

* three points for speeding 10 mph or less over the posted limit

* four points for speeding more than 10 mph but not more than 15 mph over the limit

* five points for speeding more than 15 mph over the limit (motorists who have accumulated 12 or more points in a two-year period will be required to undergo a driver assessment reexamination with the Secretary of State’s office)

* up to one year in prison for injuring and up to 15 years in prison for killing a highway construction or maintenance worker, with a maximum penalty of $7,500.

Keep in mind that you might run into work zones no matter where you drive, so give yourself more time to get to your destination. It’s always better to arrive early than not at all, especially if that reason is because of your driving choices in a work zone.

Please be safe on our roads and streets for yourself, fellow motorists and those working to make our roads and streets better and safer.