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Maryland work accidents rise although speeding tickets down

In Maryland and anywhere else there is construction, work zones have special speed limits and warnings so that there are fewer accidents taking place due to speeding or roadwork people aren't expecting. However, in Maryland, work-zone tickets have been lower than usual, but that hasn't reduced the amount of fatalities, according to a report from Feb. 5. Speed cameras are in place in Maryland, but 2013 showed a decline of 16.2 percent in speeding tickets being issued.

What that doesn't explain is the number of people still being killed in work zones due to accidents. The number of workers killed in the last 13 months has been five, and in 2013, the Maryland State Highway Administration reported eight people, including four highway workers, being killed in work-zone crashes. Some of these accidents might have been due to distractions or negligence.

During the week of Jan. 26, a worker was killed when a pickup truck struck him near Liberty Road. In June 2013, a contractor was killed on Maryland 216. Speeding violations can't be blamed for most of these deaths, because they have declined by around 80 percent, according to the SHA. The SHA reported that when the SafeZone project was started in Maryland, 7 out of 100 drivers were speeding in construction zones by 12 or more mph. Now, that's been reduced to around 2 per 100.

In the zones where workers were killed in 2013, speed cameras were not present, according to the news. This could create the push for more speed cameras in work zones to prevent further construction worker injuries. These cameras normally work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are presently two cameras on I-95 near Laurel, according to the story, and four are located in Frederick County. Others are also located in work zones on I-70.

Source: WTOP, "Md. work-zone tickets down, but fatalities are up" Ari Ashe, Feb. 05, 2014

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