Construction zones dangerous this summer

| 7/3/2003

Construction zones are likely to be more dangerous this summer due to budget cuts, repair schedules and heavier traffic, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said there were 1,079 deaths in highway construction zones in 2001, up from 1,026 in 2000 and 693 in 1997. More than 80 percent of those fatalities are drivers and their passengers, NHTSA said.

An estimated 20 percent of the national highway system will be under construction this summer, The Journal said, and more vehicles are expected on the road than ever before.

In addition, budget crunches are forcing many states to slash their patrol forces, meaning there are fewer state troopers to keep impatient drivers from speeding through construction zones, the article said.