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Ohio Legislature Proposes Stricter Penalties to Ensure Safety in Construction Zones

As Ohio gears up for another season of road construction, lawmakers are taking steps to enhance safety in work zones across the state. House Bill 429, a bipartisan initiative, addresses the alarming risks the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) workers face by imposing stricter penalties for reckless driving in construction zones.

What You Need to Know

  • Rising Incidents:

    • In the first two months of 2024 alone, 34 ODOT crews have been struck by vehicles, highlighting the urgency of implementing measures to safeguard workers’ lives.
  • Increased Penalties:

    • First-time offenders face a fine of $400 and mandatory driver safety training.
    • Subsequent violations incur steeper penalties, with fines escalating to $800 for a second offense and $1,200 for three or more offenses.
    • License suspensions range from 90 days to one year.
  • Expanded Definition of Construction Zone:

    • The bill expands the definition of a construction zone to encompass various types of roadwork, including public utility projects, to ensure that all workers engaged in maintenance and repair activities receive adequate protection from oncoming traffic.

Despite some concerns regarding the specific provisions within the bill, the overarching goal remains to prioritize construction workers’ safety and mitigate daily hazards. As you travel on Ohio roads, prioritize safety, exercise vigilance, and heed the warnings from ODOT officials to make the roadways safer for everyone.