Michigan D.O.T. or MDOT has been busy for over a month with numerous construction projects. In West Michigan we've got a series of programs to add more of the center cable barriers along US-131, I-96 and other freeways. A massive project which has closed I-196 just east of downtown Grand Rapids to widen the road on the big hill and replace a bunch of bridges. And after two years of rebuilding a stretch of I-196 near the Kent/Ottawa County line, this spring there have been removing the paved crossover lanes and landscaping the median. And that's before I've even run into any of the more usual repaving zones. (grin)
But It Cheeses Me Off...
Sure, I hate the yahoos who invoke fallacy of composition to ignore signs to move over due to lane closures, but instead rush ahead in the emptying lane and then expect everyone to let them in at the head of the line. Goddamned special snowflakes, every damned one.
But this year it has gotten really bad on another front. MDOT's website says the following about construction zone speed limits:
During Michigan's busy road construction season, motorists are required to reduce their speed to 45 miles per hour in any freeway work zone where workers are present, UNLESS a concrete barrier wall exists between the workers and the vehicles.
FACT: The majority of injuries and fatalities in work zones each year involve drivers and their passengers.
Motorists should remember to drive the appropriate speed and pay close attention in work zones.
Protect Michigan families: Where Workers Present Drive 45 - the life you save could be your own!
What Could Be Simpler?
Well... take the speed limit sign in today's LJ icon. These are arranged right after Speed Limit 60 signs in many of the freeway construction zones. So... I'm driving with most of the traffic going 60 mph in a construction zone and spot the next cable barrier work crew on the left hand shoulder ahead. I slow down and most other people slow down to 45 mph. Except for the special snowflake crowd who is DETERMINED that the left lane is for Faster Traffic, no matter what the actual speed limit says.
So the special snowflakes leap into the left lane, driving 60-70 mph and THEY'RE the ones closest to the construction workers. The real problem is that the penalties really kick in AFTER some idiot has killed a construction worker.
Public Act 103, known as "Andy's Law" went into effect Oct. 1, 2001. The law creates penalties of up to one year in prison for injuring and up to 15 years in prison for killing a highway construction or maintenance worker. It also imposes a maximum penalty of $7,500. The law is named for Andrew Lefko, a 19-year-old who was left paralyzed after being hit while working on I-275 in Metro Detroit.
In 2003, Andy's Law was strengthened by the passage of Public Act 315. Now, work zones are marked with "Work Zone Begins" and "End Road Work" signs. "Begin Work Convoy" and "End Work Convoy" signs are used for mobile crews traveling along roads as workers paint lane lines or patch potholes. Speed limit signs are also required in work zones marked with "Work Zone Begins" signs.
P.A. 315 lowers the threshold at which driving offenses can trigger Andy's Law penalties. The law now includes penalties for driving offenses such as careless driving or speeding, which are considered civil offenses. The law also applies to criminal offenses such as reckless or drunken driving.
It bugs the crap out of me when I'm the only adult who seems to be driving a motor vehicle and following the rules. And I sure don't want to hear from any special snowflakes who think their right to the left GO FAST lane is something which cannot be abridged.