National Work Zone Awareness Week launches in Illinois

Provided: Illinois State Police Provided: Illinois State Police

(WAND) - The Illinois Department of Transportation hosted the kickoff event for construction season and National Work Zone Awareness Week.

State officials including Governor Bruce Rauner are urging drivers to slow down and give space to construction crews.

IDOT is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway, and other local and national partners.

The theme this year is "Work Zone Safety - Everybody's Responsibility."

There are around 5,200 work zone crashes every year in the state. 29 people died in work zones last year.

Illinois is strengthening laws to increase safety in work zones. Hitting a worker is a fine of up to $10,000 and 14 years in prison.

IDOT is hosting "tailgate talks" with industry partners at construction sites throughout the week.

On April 13, laborers will staff rest areas and distribute materials that share the importance of driving safely in work zones.

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