INDIANAPOLIS — Heads up if you plan on driving around I-465 and I-69 over the next month.
Indiana State Police and IMPD are increasing patrols to help slow down traffic in construction zones.
“We hope that the police presence and visibility of police in those zones will change people’s driving behavior,” ISP Sgt. John Perrine said. “We know the chance of crashes increase in construction zones because of lane shifts and narrow lanes. We hope our presence will slow people down.”
The goal of the extra patrols is to help officers respond to the crashes faster and alert drivers about the dangers of driving in a construction zone.
“We want to protect the workers and we can do that with our presence and with the red and blue lights,” Sgt. Perrine said.
State Police data shows that there have been more than 2,100 crashes in construction zones this year, and police say five people have died in those crashes in Marion County alone.
“The vast majority of people who die in work zones are the drivers and vehicles that are passing through them,” Sgt. Perrine said.
State Police say they are working with IMPD to add officers to the side of the interstate with their emergency lights on.
“The increase presence will hopefully bring people back down to earth — at least driving wise,” Dawn Vasquez said.
Vasquez is living every parent’s worst nightmare. Police say her son, David Vasquez Jr., died when an alleged intoxicated driver crashed into a construction zone at the North Split on I-65.
“They set up their signs and their big arrow boards, the flashing arrows to go to the next lane,” Vasquez said.
Now she is hoping that the added police presence will help save lives.
“Definitely slow down in a construction area. These people are putting their lives on the line,” Vasquez said.