WSAZ Investigates | Law enforcement targets speeding drivers
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Drivers will notice an additional police presence along Interstate 64 in Cabell County.
Increased police patrols are targeting speeders in the 5-mile work zone between 29th Street in Huntington and the Huntington Mall in an attempt to slow drivers down and cut down on the number of work zone crashes. The speed limit in work zones is 55 mph.
“People sometimes treat the interstate like a racetrack,” said Sgt. B. K. Wellman with the West Virginia State Police as he clocked a driver traveling 71 mph in a 55 mph zone.
“Speed that might be safe in a wide open interstate is not going to be as safe through here where the lanes are a lot smaller, and you have concrete on both sides of you,” Wellman said.
Work Zone Woes, a WSAZ Investigation, revealed the elevated number of crashes through this stretch as the agency increased patrols in March.
WSAZ found that Cabell County 911 estimated since Jan. 1, a total of thirty-three (33) crashes in the construction area between the 15-mile marker and the 22-mile marker, nine (9) of those involved tractor-trailers.
The Public Service Commission Transportation Division began providing two enforcement officers assigned to that area in the morning and two in the evening hours during rush hour. A spokesperson for the agency said they’re also doing spot patrols throughout the day.
Sgt. Wellman said he believed the additional patrols provided by the PSC were helpful in the work zone.
“Driving is the most dangerous thing we do every single day. You have two to three tons of metal that you’re in control of. It just takes that one person who is not paying attention, just on their cellphone changing a song .... to completely wreck and ruin their life or temporarily deprive them of transportation to their job,” said West Virginia State Police Trooper Nate Rodgers.
Law enforcement encourages all drivers in the work zone to abide by posted speed limit signs.
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