INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Department of Transportation is trying a new way to get everyone to slow down in construction zones.
Right now, we’re at the height of summer construction season and each day construction workers put their safety at risk when they head to their job site.
With the help of experts at Purdue University, INDOT is trying new adjustable speed limit signs as a way to slow traffic flow into those construction zones.
The first signs in the state are now up along Interstate 65 in Johnson County. INDOT can change the signs to adjust the speed limit in 5 mph increments between 45 mph and 70 mph.
Officials will change the speed limits remotely from Indianapolis, depending on traffic and conditions. They get that information using mapping and sensors already in place.
On Tuesday, researchers from Purdue will be out with radar guns watching how people respond to the signs. Eventually, the state says it will have an algorithm that will automatically change the speed limit.
INDOT says the goal is to protect workers in construction zones and to avoid rear-end crashes.
Out of more than 17,000 crashes in 2010, according to the US Department of Transportation, rear end collisions were the most common accident in a work zone. They’re more likely to occur during the day when lanes are shut down.
You’ll notice the new signs first along a 10-mile stretch from Edinburgh to Franklin where crews are repaving I-65. They will be in both the north and southbound lanes.