Police crackdown on I-77 work zone speeding

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After multiple crashes through the Interstate 77 work zone in Charleston, police decided to crackdown on drivers speeding on the busy stretch of road. The Charleston Police Traffic Division has five officers working overtime to help drivers slow down to increase safety.

Charleston Police Traffic Division Officer Ryan Marks enters a driver's information into his computer on Friday, June 14, 2019. The driver was pulled over for driving 73 mph in a 50 mph work zone.

"Speed and crashes go hand in hand and we're just happy to be out here making the roadways safer for everyone in the community," Sgt. Chris Burford said.

Officers have issued more than 200 speeding tickets through the week. That number is only going to increase as patrols continue through the weekend.

"You've gotta look at the big picture, so at the end of this we will resume normal traffic flow and get back to the normal speeds," Burford said. "But during the time that all of that work is going on, we need to make sure the workers have a safe environment for themselves and we also have to make sure the roadways are safe for the motorists."

So far, the work zone enforcement effort has resulted in three felony arrests, three DUI arrests, drug seizures and the recovers of more than $2,000 worth of stolen goods.

"You can't calculate the number of lives you save by taking a DUI driver off the roadway," Officer Ryan Marks said. "Impaired driving kills over 10,000 people every year."

Marks has been patrolling I-77 for five years. This week alone, he has pulled over multiple drivers going more than 80 mph in the 50 mph work zone.

"You hit someone going 80 miles per hour," Marks said. "Especially if they are trying to help our state and make the road better here, that can be detrimental to their health and possibly kill them."

He said drivers need to think back to the basics they learned about the rules of the road.

"That's honestly just for the safety not only of the drivers out here on the road but the guys in the work zone," Marks said. "It benefits everybody making sure you're scanning the roadway as much as you can while you are driving."