Police cracking down on traffic violations in construction zones

File photo of an Indiana State Police cruiser. (Indiana State Police/Facebook)
Driving through construction chaos
Navigating road closures

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It seems that 2019 has been the summer of road construction. With lane restrictions, overnight closures and complete closures, getting around has been a bit of a challenge.

Unfortunately, the work isn't over yet. Several more projects are underway or are scheduled before the year is over.

Indiana State Police say in addition to slowing down, pacing yourself is also key.

"Creating that distance allows safer driving for everyone, but sometimes we find that by creating that distance somebody merges in front of you, so you have to find that happy medium but allowing that person to merge is safer for everyone," Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine said.

With so many construction projects around the interstates, police say it's easy to be complacent and forget that you're in a zone where you need to slow down.

That's part of why you may see officers on the roads with their lights on, but without anyone pulled over.

"Sometimes police officers use our cars to warn about those traffic backups. If you're driving along and you see a police car with its lights on but nobody around, he or she may very well be warning you of upcoming stopped traffic," Sgt. Perrine said.

Officers are writing tickets, and the penalties are more severe in a construction zone.

More drivers die in construction zone crashes than actual construction workers.

Not only do construction zones come with less speed, they can also come with long back ups.

Police have an important tip they want everyone to share: merge.

"It works like a zipper, but it takes everybody in that area allowing each other to merge. So often people get caught in that lane that's closed and they don't know what to do; they don't know whether to stop, they don't know whether to go to the front and merge in, and that by itself creates the bottleneck, it creates congestion. The zipper merge is going to allow everybody to flow through that zone a lot smoother with very minimal stopping," Sgt. Perrine said.