NAPERVILLE, IL – April 15, 2022 – At the conclusion of National Work Zone Awareness Week, Nicor Gas, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP), is reminding drivers of this year’s theme - that work zones are a sign to slow down. Besides reducing speed, Nicor Gas is reminding drivers to always be on high alert and focus only on driving when passing through construction zones to keep those who are working safe.
According to 2020 data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 857 people were killed and 44,000 injured in work zone crashes nationally. Illinois averages almost 6,100 crashes in work zones each year, resulting in 1,600 injuries and 28 deaths.
National Work Zone Awareness Week, which began in 1999, is designed to inform motorists about the dangers of driving through work zones and of the perils faced by construction and maintenance workers. Illinois’ Scott’s Law states that drivers must change lanes or greatly reduce speed when approaching a police, emergency or any vehicle authorized by law to be equipped with oscillating, rotating or flashing lights while the operator of the vehicle is engaged in their official duties. This includes all vehicles operated by Nicor Gas.
Work Zone Safety Tips You Can Use:
Change Lanes or Greatly Reduce Speed – Move over one lane if possible and reduce speed when approaching a work zone. If unable to change lane, reduce your speed greatly and proceed with caution.
Expect the Unexpected – Things may change quickly. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be closed, narrowed, or shifted, and people may be working on or near the road.
Don’t Speed – Obey the posted speed limit, even when workers are not present.
Don’t Tailgate – Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you and construction workers and their equipment.
Obey Road Crew Flaggers and Pay Attention to Signs – Failure to obey speed limit signs or a flagger’s traffic control directions can result in fines and/or imprisonment.
Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions – Give your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones and other electronic devices while approaching and driving in a work zone.
Illinois is a Hands-Free State – In 2019, Illinois became a hands-free state when driving and prohibits the use of cell phones or other devices. There is no exception for setting navigation or changing a radio station.
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com.