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EDITORIAL: Flagged for support
No one needs to sell us on a bill to increase penalties for drivers who break the law in road construction zones, putting workers' lives at risk.
We've seen these jerks ourselves — and bet you have, too.
They honk at the flagger stopping traffic, then flip him off when they're finally allowed to drive on.
And even though the hand sign now clearly says, "Slow," these idiots drive a little too fast and a little too close to the flagger. You know just to show him.
Some construction workers told us it's as if these drivers hold them personally responsible for the delay and want to retaliate against them.
Then there are those drivers too engrossed in their smart phones to even notice the construction zone. They're the ones who slam on their brakes at the last minute — if the construction worker is lucky.
According to the state Department of Transportation, 85 road construction workers have been killed while on the job since 1970. Six have been injured so far just this year.
So, yes, we support Senate Bill 887, which calls for a six-month license suspension — up from 15 days — and an increase in fines and penalties from $1,000 to $5,000 for serious offenses involving highway workers or first responders.
A separate Senate bill would add speed cameras in active work zones, but we tend to agree with the road workers who say what's really needed is stronger law enforcement.
Cameras would make sure reckless drivers pay up after the fact. More officers and troopers might stop them before they put lives at risk.