Troopers to crack down on construction zone speeders


BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) — With numerous complaints of aggressive driving and speeding in a congested work zone in Barboursville, the West Virginia State Police announced Friday they are going to take additional action in the area.

The construction zone by mile marker 18 on I-64 is one of the heaviest construction areas in Barboursville. Recently, it was the scene of a fatal tractor-trailer crash.

If you’ve driven this stretch of road—between Barboursville and Huntington—you know how congested it can get.

“The one area down there is horrible, where they have that barricade up. I think it’s dangerous, and anybody going through there, its crazy. I don’t care what speed you go, but speeders especially, that would even be worse,” says Phyllis Harless, a local resident of Cabell County.

According to West Virginia State Police, the speeding in that area is a serious problem.

“The posted speed limit in that zone is 55 miles an hour. It’s starts about the 20 mile marker all the way down to the 15… They have put speed sensors up there, and they’re still getting readings 90, 100 mile an hour,” says Sergeant B.K. Wellman, the detachment commander for the West Virginia State Police in Huntington.

Now, state police are stepping in.

“Due to the increasing number of accidents, as well as the speeding complaints and reckless driving complaints, we’re gonna be increasing patrols on the interstate in the work zone,” Wellman says.

Local drivers say it’s a step in the right direction:

“You try to do 55 down through there…it seems like you’ll get run over,” says Steve Wells, a resident of Cabell County, “If state troopers are planning on putting more people out there, they should’ve done it a lot sooner if you ask me—it’s very dangerous down there sometimes cause I see people going well over 70 mile an hour going through there.” 

Some drivers are skeptical that targeting the speed issue will actually solve the problem, though.

“It would help, but I still think that it wouldn’t matter if the police is there or not, that you know the road condition in that area is dangerous,” Harless says.

Either way, one thing is clear:

“We are going to be citing people for speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, all that kind of thing,” Wellman says.

These patrols are set to begin Monday, but officers warn they could be out over the weekend.

State police officers also say speeding tickets are higher in the work zones, and could mean hundreds of dollars in fines.

Additionally, once you reach 15 miles over the speed limit, Wellman says it does become an arrestable offense.

Remember to take your time in work zones for your safety and the safety of the crews, and move over if you see someone pulled to the side of the road.

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