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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | May 6, 2008

It’s that time of year again. We have just two seasons in Iowa, you know — winter and construction season.

And my how much it has begun in earnest. It seems like wherever you go (with the exception of Highway 9) there is road construction. And that means one thing.

Slow down.

There’s a good reason that fines double in construction zones in Iowa. That’s because it’s so much more hazardous than in normal traffic situations. Anytime you’re asking people to put on the brakes and to be patient, you can be certain that someone is going to come up on a construction area asleep at the wheel or else is too impatient.

Let’s look at the following scenario:

Let’s say Joe Blow approaches a construction area. He waits … and waits … and waits. Tired of waiting, he backs up and moves a couple barrels and goes down a side street.

Joe can’t figure out why this road isn’t open. After all, it’s nice and smooth and oh … what’s that ahead?

The front end of Joe’s car goes off the end of the concrete slab that’s been chiseled away and slams into the road base 18 inches below.

Joe wants to sue for his car accident. But guess what. He has to pay the construction company for the damage he did to the concrete mesh that he wrecked during his ‘mishap’.

That’s not the worst of it though. Every year, construction workers are injured or killed because drivers simply will not slow down and obey traffic signals. Those signs and flag people are there for a reason — your safety. If you ignore them and try to make up your own rules, you’re the one who’s going to be at fault.

Highway safety during construction season is just really a matter of common courtesy and common sense. If you don’t follow the rules, you’ll pay for it. It’s as plain and simple as that.

So plan ahead. Give yourself a little extra time to get wherever you’re going. Check with the state Department of Transportation, or if you’re a member, with the AAA to determine where there’s ongoing construction.

Taking just a little bit of time for preparation can save you a lot more time on the road.