You probably know traffic fines are often doubled in construction zones.  But now, here come the emphasis patrols.

Local, regional and state law enforcement officers across the U.S. are stepping up traffic patrols in construction zones - whether they're in the city or on the highway.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board,  595 motorists are killed in accidents nationally that occur in construction zones.   Oregon state data from the Oregon State Department of Transportation says 21 died in such accidents last year.

Oregon and Washington State DOT officials say the most dangerous area is the transition zone just prior to a work area.  Most often, motorists are speeding and not paying attention, then have to drastically slow down before or as they enter the zone.   National statistics show road construction is the most hazardous job in America.  They also say driver inattention is the #1 cause of work zone accidents - distracted drivers.

To curb the number of fatalities,  traffic patrols will be especially heavy this week near road construction areas.  Last year,  Oregon law enforcement officials put in over 11,000 hours of overtime working at least 51 construction zones.  They issued over 6,700 citations, and over 12,000 warnings.  Similar statistics were released by Washington officials.

So be careful around the construction zones,  but not just this week, all the time.

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