Urging drivers to pay attention during Work Zone Safety Awareness Week

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 22, 2015) - INDOT crews are kicking off Work Zone Safety Awareness Week on Monday.

It's nearly one year after two INDOT workers were killed on Interstate 69. Kenneth Duerson Jr., 49, Indianapolis, and Coty Demoss, 24, Noblesville were both killed when Jordan Stafford, 22, Fortville drove through the construction zone where Duerson and Demoss worked.

Demoss' father, Dennis Demoss Jr. says Work Zone Safety Awareness Week is a somber reminder of what can happen if drivers aren't paying attention.

“It was about 5:30 in the morning, they just got done, he was picking up traffic and a truck coming into the construction zone killed Coty Demoss my son and Kenneth Duerson," Demoss said.

In 2013, 13 people were killed and more than 300 were hurt in INDOT construction zones.

Demoss' family says those statistics could easily be avoided.

“Let everybody know that workers are going to be out there on the roads and that they need to be aware for their safety and the workers," said Demoss' mother, Chana Demoss.

It's not just highway workers you need to be on the lookout for. DPW crews will be busy on the roads patching potholes with crews on the ground.

“Sometimes a crew may be doing some sight work, may be doing some surveying, so you may not see a lot of activity going on in a given area where there are construction signs posted, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t crews working nearby," said Scott Manning, DPW Spokesperson.

Manning says the rules are simple when in construction zones.

“The best advice is just to slow down and be extra aware, try to limit distractions. Don’t text and drive, try to use a handsfree or speakerphone if you’re talking on your cell phone," said Manning.

According to the Indiana Work Safety Zone Law,  "first time citations for speeding in a work zone result in a $300 fine. The fine increases to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense within three years. Motorists who drive recklessly or aggressively through a work zone face fines up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker may end up paying a $10,000 fine and serving up to eight years behind bars. Fines generated from the work zone law are used to fund additional work zone patrols in an around work zones."

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