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Ask a Trooper: Are construction zone speed limits enforced when no workers are present?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson

Q: Are construction zone speed limits enforced even when no construction workers are present? How about on weekends and holidays?

A: If the posted speed limit signs are visible and placed in a construction zone, that speed limit is the maximum speed allowed, no matter what time, day, date or if workers are present or not. The speed limits are established for not only the safety of the construction workers, but also for the safety of the motoring public.

The white/black speed limit signs are the official regulatory sign. The orange signs serve as a warning; even though they are not regulatory, they are intended to provide clear instructions to help you drive safely.

Law enforcement actively enforces all speed limits, especially in a work zone.

Fines

Cost of a speeding violation will vary by county, but it will typically cost a driver more than $110 with court fees for traveling 10 mph over the limit. Fines double for those traveling 20 mph over the limit, and fines for speeding in a work zone are more than $300. A driver can lose their license for six months for going 100 mph or more.

 Higher Speeds, Bigger Problems

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
  • Increased stopping distance.
  • Less time for driver response for crash avoidance.

Safety Tips

  • Put the distractions away. Distracted driving is a leading factor in crashes in Minnesota. The driver needs to focus 100 percent of their attention on the road.
  • Move over for construction workers and their vehicles if there is room to do so.
  • Never drive impaired.
  • Wear your seatbelt as it can save your life.
  • Check out 511mn.org for road closures, detours and traffic incidents.

Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach him at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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