Construction zone speed limits could save lives - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Construction zone speed limits could save lives

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CANFIELD, Ohio -

Every year about 23 highway workers and one police officer are killed in construction zones along the nation's highways.

In Ohio, the speed limits are reduced to 55 miles per hour in these work zones.

So, why then is the speed limit still 70 on one stretch of state Route 11?

There's signs warning of "road construction" ahead, and signs to watch for "stopped traffic," but no sign warning drivers to actually slow down on one stretch of highway through Canfield.

In fact, there's an eight and a half mile stretch of highway on State Route 11, south of state Route 224 where 70 mile an hour signs are still posted in a construction zone where a resurfacing project has been underway since April 14th.

Just last week, a motorist who exited her disabled vehicle was struck and critically injured by an SUV going 60 miles an hour in the area.

State troopers said no matter what the posted speed, it's always a good idea to slow down in construction zones.

"Slowing down always helps, it gives you more time to react. So, that if someone does stop in front of you, you have time to react," said Sgt. Michael Wilson, Ohio Highway Patrol.

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Transportation tells 21 News there are a number of things to consider when determining the speed in a construction zone, and typically on resurfacing projects, like this one, the speed limit is not lowered because it tends to back-up traffic.

As of Thursday afternoon, ODOT said they were in the process of "lowering" the speed on this stretch.

Officials from ODOT would not say whether the speed limit would be lowered because of Friday's accident, but did tell 21 News it was for the safety of the motoring public and the workers.

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