Drivers ignoring work zone speed limits

By Alyssa Donovan

June 24, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM CDT

MORTON, Ill.-- Illinois law says all drivers must go 45 miles per hour in a construction zone but those that are obeying the law are being tailgated and run down by drivers that seem to be in a hurry.

We have been getting some calls from drivers that are being tailgated while obeying work zone speed limits. So we decided to check it out for ourselves.

On Monday, we hit the road and headed for the work zone on Interstate 74 near Morton.

Reporter Alyssa Donovan set her cruise control to 45 and cars immediately started tail gating and speeding past our news van.

As she neared the end of the work zone, she says she felt like it may actually be safer to just speed up.

Drivers behind her were getting antsy behind, coming up close to the bumper and even giving some dirty looks as they flew past.

What they may not know is that even if construction is not happening at that time, the reduced speed limit still applies until drivers are completely out of the work zone.

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Williamsen says the reduced speed is not only for the safety of the workers but the safety of the drivers.

"The primary number of fatalities in work zones are actually motorists," said Williamsen. " We do want you to slow down for our workers sake but we do want you to slow down for your own sake as well. More than 90 percent of fatalities in work zones are motorists."

Williamsen says if safety isn't a big enough incentive to slow down, drivers should consider their checkbooks.

Speeding in a work zone is a $375 fine for your first offense and a $1,000 fine for a second offense.