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Illinois bill aimed at improving work zone safety via driver education

Photo: Steven Puetzer/gettyimages

Springfield, IL — Legislation that would require driver’s education courses to feature lessons on worker and driver safety in highway constructions zones is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.

Introduced by Sens. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), Laura M. Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Jason Plummer (R-Vandalia) in February, S.B. 3151 advanced out of the Senate with 59-0 vote on April 12.

The bill would require any school district offering driver’s education courses to include instruction on worker safety protocol in highway construction zones with the goal of reducing incidents and protecting the lives of both drivers and construction workers. Courses would also have to include instruction on special hazards associated with highway construction and maintenance zones (including worker safety).

Nationally, nearly 1,000 people were killed in work zone crashes in 2021, according to the latest data available from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. That’s the highest yearly total recorded by the clearinghouse since it was established in 2011.

“Ensuring the safety of our highways and construction zones requires a united effort,” Stadelman said in a press release. “Giving our drivers the knowledge they need to maneuver construction zones safely is of the utmost importance.”

The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee.

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