Both Pennsylvania drivers and construction workers should be aware of safety regulations surrounding work zones. As a result of the state legislature's approval of a large amount of funding, roadside crews will be working on more projects this year. While on the road, drivers should be alert to the presence of work crews, construction vehicles and flagmen, and they should be prepared to slow down or stop in these areas.
If caught traveling at more than 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limits in work zones, drivers may have their licenses suspended for 15 days. In addition, fines in these areas are doubled, and drivers can face additional fines if they drive without their headlights on. If a driver causes a fatality in a work-zone accident and is convict of vehicular homicide, the maximum prison sentence possible will increase by five years.
Speeding, driver distraction, driver impairment and even impatience are some of the top causes of work-zone accidents. In 2013, there were 1,845 work-zone crashes in Pennsylvania with 16 fatalities. Across the nation, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, five out of every six fatalities in work-zone crashes are drivers and passengers, but around 100 workers are killed in these accidents every year.
Injured construction workers who suffered their injuries at work are entitled to workers' compensation to cover their medical expenses, and a portion of the wages that they lose during their recovery may also be provided. Pennsylvania employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, and in many instances, injured workers will receive their claim without any problems. In some cases, however, their claim may be denied or they might receive the improper amount of benefits. A workers' compensation lawyer may be able to help an injured worker to get the funds that he or she needs.
Source: Lancaster Online, "A work zone safety alert", April 14, 2014