NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
I would like to offer my view to the traffic hazards in the Interstate 35 construction zone. The short merge lane, narrow lanes with no break-down lane, barricades and barrels all contribute to a hazardous situation. But these things do not cause accidents. Drivers cause accidents.
In almost every case involving accidents in construction zones, locally or across the country, excessive speed has been the root cause. Posting more signs and more warnings will not reduce the number of accidents. There are just too many drivers who totally ignore construction zone warning signs and speed limits.
Construction zone warning signs now tell drivers that fines are doubled when workers are present, so the threat of losing some money does not deter them.
I suggest that the state modify speed limit enforcement in construction zones by charging speeders with “reckless driving,” with a no tolerance policy and posting signs so stating. Even this will not stop some drivers from speeding in constructions zones, but maybe enough will pay attention that the accident rate can be reduced and maybe some lives can be saved.
Thomas G. Niblett
Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.), United States