Lewis & Tompkins, P.C. | Maryland | Virginia | Washington, D.C.

Free Consultations

PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Work zone safety and street racing

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Since a terrible work zone accident in Maryland in 2023 in which six workers lost their lives, the state has been striving to implement greater safety measures to prevent this type of crash from happening again.

Roadside workers are so vulnerable and need to trust that drivers will reduce their speed in work zones as they are legally obligated to do. Given driver behaviors, it can be a harrowing time on the job.

Recently, Maryland has moved forward with an increase in how much it will cost drivers who speed in work zones. In addition, it is trying to take steps to stop drivers from street racing and exhibitions that place people in danger. Still, recklessness is an ingrained problem that people need to think about and know what options they have after there has been an accident.

Fines for work zone speeding have doubled

To try and dissuade drivers from speeding when they are approaching and passing work zones, fines are doubling from $40 to $80. This is just the start as it will potentially increase to $1,000 in 2025. The accident in which the workers lost their lives involved two vehicles whose speeds surpassed 100 mph.

Following that crash, lawmakers got to work on trying to find ways to make work zones safer. Toward that end, there will be automated cameras to catch speeding drivers and raise the penalties they face. Statistically, there were more than 1,100 work zone accidents in the state in 2023. That came to an average of 3.5 each day.

The most recent numbers for the first four months of 2024 show that this continues to be a problem as there were more than 400 accidents. Ninety-four people were injured, but survived. Three people lost their lives. As part of the new initiatives, law enforcement has been out in force to cite drivers who violate the law, issue warnings and order them to make repairs.

This happens at the same time as new penalties will be assessed to those who take part in street racing. The new law will go into effect at the same time as the speeding law for work zones begins. Those who are caught behaving in this way in the state will need to appear in court. They could be jailed for as long as one year and fined $1,000.

These attempts at making the roads safer are a positive step that might yield good results. Still, despite the new laws and harsher penalties, there are bound to be drivers who continue to flout the law and ignore the potential punishments they will be subject to for these violations. When accidents happen, people who were injured need to be prepared for what they might face in the future.

After an auto accident due to recklessness, there are options

Anyone on the state roads in any capacity needs to think about what they will do if there is an auto accident due to another person’s recklessness. The medical costs, lost income, long-term challenges, and the physical, mental and emotional aftereffects of an auto accident can change a person’s life.

When moving forward, it is vital to know how to proceed and recover fully for all that was lost. This requires being prepared, having a grasp of the law and what can be done to hold reckless, dangerous drivers accountable.