Cordele, Georgia — Many drivers cresting over this hill along Interstate 75 South in Cordele find themselves in the cross hairs of a radar gun, and that can equal bad news for those caught speeding inside this work zone.“We have a good 3 miles of construction zone here where workers are actually present and heavy equipment is present. My guys have written about 50 citations today,” said Captain Tommy Jackson with the Cordele Police Department.
Jackson heads up a team of patrolmen set up along a 3 miles stretch of I-75 where they clock potential speeders before they reach the crowded work zones.
“We focus on the high end speeders – 79 (mph) and above. They’re doing 19 miles an hour over the speed limit. The highest we’ve had today has been a couple at 85 (mph). When these guys are working two or three feet away from a vehicle doing 85 miles an hour, it is very dangerous,” says Jackson.
Since 1973, 56 Georgia DOT workers have been killed in work zone accidents. Brad Ketner, safety engineer with Archer Western Contractors, has witnessed one of them.
“It was instantaneous, but we did everything we could. All of the safety measures were there. It’s just one of those accidents that happened,” said Ketner, speaking on the recent fatality of 10 year Archer Western employee killed by a drunk driver near Macon.
But the number of workers killed pales in comparisons to the number of motorists who die, dozens of them each year, in work zone related accidents. With 32 accidents in this zone since construction began in 2006, CPD is trying to make the road a safer place for all.
“We’re trying to save lives. That’s our goal. Archer Western has already had one worker killed in Bibb County. We don’t want one in Crisp County,” said Jackson.
Ticket fines can reach upwards of $200.00 for those cited for speeding in a work zone.
Officers say they recently clocked and arrested a motorist driving over 100 miles-per-hour in the work zone.
The contractor doing the interstate work says it should be completed by the beginning of 2010.
For up to date road construction information throughout the state you can call 511.
Cade Fowler, WALB.com news
Speeding Ticket in Cordele Georgia?