INDOT has directed contractors to pull back barrels and barricades to the safest extent possible during the heavily-travelled holiday, but Indiana State Police will continue to enforce construction zone safety utilizing all available tools, including pickups in construction zones (PICZ).
The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen being used by contractors and INDOT inspectors. Motorists are urged to comply with reduced speed limits, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid driving aggressively. Motorists that fail to do so may meet one of the troopers driving the special pickup truck police vehicles.
Indiana now has nine trucks patrolling various construction zones throughout the state. INDOT and ISP launched the PICZ program in 2011 with converted pickups for traffic enforcement in and near construction zones. INDOT provides the trucks to Indiana State Police as part of their efforts toward reducing crashes and injuries and enhancing safety and mobility.
The trucks are equipped with LIDAR, which is similar to radar but uses laser light to measure the distance between vehicles, allowing police to accurately and consistently determine if vehicles are following too closely. Statistical analysis shows the top cause of work zone crashes to be following too closely.
During the holiday enforcement blitz, Indiana State Police will be specifically looking for drivers who follow too closely, exceed posted speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or to properly restrain children. Troopers will also be aggressively looking for impaired drivers.
To help ensure motorists reach their holiday travel destinations safely, please remember these safe driving tips:
- Make sure you are well rested before traveling.
- Avoid tailgating. Remember the two-second rule.
- Obey posted speed limits, and always use turn signals when turning and making lane changes.
- Make sure everyone is properly buckled up.
- Never drink and drive. If you are going to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver.
Some closures and restrictions will remain on larger projects that cannot be safely reopened to traffic for the weekend. Around the Southwest Indiana District of INDOT those restrictions which will remain include:
- State Road 61, Knox County – Closed from Bierhaus Boulevard in Vincennes to State Road 241 in Monroe City.
· U.S. Route 150, Prospect – Restricted to one lane with traffic signal 1.2 miles west of S.R. 56, for bridge replacement.
· U.S. Route 150, Prospect to Paoli – Restricted to one lane with traffic signal in multiple areas between S.R. 56 and S.R. 37, for roadway reconstruction and bridge replacements.
· S.R. 66 – Restricted to one lane with traffic signal immediately west of S.R. 166, for bridge replacement.
· S.R. 54, Sullivan – Restricted to one lane with traffic signal 1.5 miles east of U.S. 41, for bridge replacement
· S.R. 261, Newburgh – Road closed from S.R. 66 to S.R. 62 for road reconstruction.
The statewide TrafficWise traveler information webpage includes updated reports for all state roads, U.S. highways and interstates across Indiana. Motorists can learn about traffic conditions, road closures, construction information, and crashes by going to www.TrafficWise.in.gov or calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623).