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Tom Cullerton looks to increase tollway work zone safety

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CHICAGO—The Illinois Tollway and State Senator Tom Cullerton are working together to keep Illinois work zones safe by imposing stricter penalties for reckless driving in Illinois work zones.

Cullerton’s proposed legislation would increases the fine for hitting a construction worker in a work zone from $10,000 to $25,000 and would create a new encroachment violation that would impose a fine for going around cones and barrels.

“Driving recklessly through construction zones to shave off a few minutes of your arrival time can be the difference between life and death,” Cullerton said. “Our road construction workers are working day and night to improve our state’s infrastructure. It’s our job to drive responsibly and respectfully to prevent tragedies.”

This legislation comes in light of an accident in which Bartlett resident Frank Caputo, a flagger, was struck and killed in an Illinois Tollway work zone.

Officials say there are 4,800 work zone crashes in Illinois each year.  In 2017, fatalities were reported in 29 of them. 

“We will work to honor Frank Caputo by finding ways to keep his fellow workers safe,” Cullerton said. “Tragedies like this stress the need to drive carefully, if not for your own life but for those sharing the road with us.”

Cullerton is working to file legislation that can be taken up as early as November during Veto Session.