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May 5, 2014

Troopers watch speed in work zone

Three state officers keep tabs on construction zones near state line

TERRE HAUTE — Speeding through a construction zone on Interstate 70 will likely result in a traffic ticket these days.

That was the case on Monday morning when a driver, suspected of being impaired, was stopped near the 3-mile marker on I-70 in western Vigo County on suspicion of speeding more than 20 mph faster than the 55 mph limit, according to the Indiana State Police.

Trooper Ted Robertson said he was patrolling a highway construction zone at about 9:55 a.m. when he radar-tracked an eastbound car traveling at 75 mph. Driver Justin Hostetler, 33, of New Philo, Ohio, was arrested and found to have a 0.11 percent blood-alcohol content. Hostetler was also cited for speeding in a work zone. He was booked into the Vigo County Jail.

ISP has assigned three troopers in the Putnamville district to patrol the construction zones from the Indiana-Illinois state line to the 6-mile marker in Vigo County, and from the 22-mile to the 29-mile markers, east of Vigo County.

ISP Sgt. Joe Watts told the Tribune-Star that unlike last year’s construction season when crashes seemed to be frequent, this year’s road work has started off with only a few minor fender benders and no injury accidents.

Tickets issued have also been minimal, and mostly for speeding in the construction zone, Watts said.

ISP and the Indiana Department of Transportation have partnered to provide warning signage and increased patrols in the work zones to look for dangerous and impaired drivers. Work zone fines cost up to three times more than normal citation costs.

Motorists are also  reminded not to follow too closely or make unsafe lane movements.

Watts also noted that another work zone is coming for Vigo County motorists using U.S. 41 on the city’s south side, as intersection and turn lane improvements are being made at Johnson Drive.

Also, a reconstruction project of U.S. 40 through Brazil in Clay County has been delayed until June, and is expected to continue for several months.

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