Maryland drivers are slowing down and saving lives in work zones, officials say.
Work zone-related crashes, fatalities and injuries in the state are at a 10-year low, the Maryland State Highway Administration announced Wednesday.
In the past three years, fatalities decreased by two-thirds, from nine in 2009 to three in 2011; injuries went from 827 to 688 and overall workzone crashes decreased from 1,685 to 1,486.
The agency credited the change to speed cameras placed in work zones, a program launched in 2010. Since then, speed violations at construction sites have decreased by 80 percent. In 2010, seven out of every 100 drivers in a work zone exceeded the speed limit by 12 mph or more; now fewer than two drivers out of every 100 are receiving citations for excessive speeding, the agency said.
"The decrease in work zone crashes and the reduction in citations tell us that the SafeZones cameras are effective and motorists are getting the message to slow down in our highway work zones," said State Highway Administrator Melinda Peters in a statement. "This is not only good news for workers but for motorists as well, since the majority of those injured in work zone-related crashes are drivers or occupants in passenger vehicles."