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MoDOT reminds drivers to be alert in work zones

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation 53 people died in work zone crashes between 2010 and 2014. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Missouri Department of Transportation Resident Engineer Aaron Peck said a vehicle entered a work zone on Hwy 63 Wednesday morning and struck an excavator.

"It's obviously concerning," Peck said.

"It's not something we wanted to see happen. We tried to set up the work zone in a way that would keep traffic out of there. When things like that happen it causes us to take a look and see if we can make improvements."

Peck has been working on the side of highways among fast-moving traffic for over a decade. He said working in construction, one has to be on their guard.

"It's just being aware of your surroundings," he said. "Our folks always look for construction traffic and vehicular traffic at the same time. They're looking for traffic to hopefully be slowed down."

When cars fly by - even when they're obeying work zone speed limits - Peck said it feels intense.

"It's a pretty jarring experience," he said. "Cars seem a lot faster when you're standing stationary on the road."

Peck said they implement lower speed limits in work zones to help keep workers and motorists safe.

"It just gives the public a little bit of extra time to make decisions and process what they're seeing," he said.

MoDOT encourages drivers to pay attention, obey construction signs, slow down, keep eyes on the road, and put phones down when driving in work zones.

Missouri law states drivers can lose their license and be fined up to $10,000 for killing a worker. MoDOT reports between 2010 and 2014, 46 people were killed in work zone crashes on state system routes and an additional seven were killed on the local system.

"That's somebody you're taking away from a family," Peck said.

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