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Editorial: Stay safe in road construction

Road construction is now well underway across the state, and we urge motorists to slow down and be alert when driving on local roads, state highways and the interstate.

With limited warm weather across Minnesota, municipalities and the state both have only a few months to get all of the construction projects completed.

Drivers traveling too fast and not paying attention are the main causes of work zone crashes, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Each year in the U.S., a work zone crash occurs once every 5.4 minutes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

In Minnesota, during the past three years, there were 31 fatalities and 123 serious injuries in work zones.

MnDOT offers the following tips for drivers in work zones:

• Stay alert, especially at night.

• Stay off cell phones and mobile devices.

• Be patient. Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

• Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.

• Expect work zones to constantly change. Day to day you could experience lane shifts, closures or moving workers and vehicles.

• Don’t make unnecessary lane changes.

• Do the zipper merge.

• Never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.

Remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes open for those working on roads. It is important to keep both you and those who work on the roads safe.