TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Pennsylvania State Police are patrolling a major work zone in Wyoming County in an effort to bring awareness to highway safety.
On Friday, Eyewitness News had the opportunity to see how its being done.
State police have pulled over nearly a dozen motorists.
Troopers are looking for distracted drivers and those who are speeding in this construction zone.
It was a busy day for troopers in Wyoming County as they work to save lives.
They’re focusing on the stretch of Route 6 between Tunkhannock and Washington Townships.
“We’ve been in talks with the construction workers out here in the construction zone and they have been noticing a lot of distracted driving and also motorists traveling above the speed limit,” said Trooper Jeffrey Grimes, Troop P, Tunkhannock.
Trooper Jeffrey Grimes and others are using an unconventional approach.
“We’re going to be using the construction vehicles from the company that’s doing the construction work. We’re going to have a uniformed trooper in that vehicle with a radar gun,” said Grimes.
If a motorist is found to be in violation of work zone laws, a radio call will then go to a trooper in an unmarked vehicle down the road.
In 2019 there were 1,754 work zone related crashes in the state and 14 of those resulted in 16 deaths.
“Cell phone usage and distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes in our work zones. We just ask that everybody slows down and takes it serious because we all want to go home to our families,” said Jonathan Eboli, Acting Senior Civil Engineer Manager, PennDOT District 4.
Construction crews are working within feet of motor vehicles with out any barriers.
“Doesn’t take only a split second to lose focus and you’re into the one of the workers. We’re just trying to keep them safe as we can,” said Pj Connolly, Area Manager, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.
Troopers won’t always be in a construction vehicle or unmarked car.
They will also be out in a marked car pulling motorists over.
For those who are wondering, this construction project on Route 6 is near its completion.
Once workers are done in this area they will move to Susquehanna County.
To learn more about work zone safety, click here.