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Reminder to put down your phone as road construction season begins in St. Louis

Stay attentive on the roadways this construction season to prevent the orange zone from turning into crash sites.

ST. LOUIS — This past week, 5 On Your Side Traffic Reporter Paul Cook said he learned so much standing on the Jefferson Barracks Bridge amid road construction. 

While vehicles zoomed back and forth on Interstate 255, Cook recalled about one out of every six or seven drivers distracted and looking down at their phones while flying by.

Often, distracted motorists entering construction zones can cause themselves or others injury.

RELATED: Missouri lawmakers looking at new set of distracted driving laws

During a news conference put on by the Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation in the middle of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge construction, the departments illustrated the record-breaking number of road construction projects hitting our area this summer and that every accident which happens in a construction zone is absolutely avoidable.

Josie Beard, the widow of construction worker Dennis Beard who tragically lost his life in a construction zone, described what life was like for her family since Dennis died in 2012. Also, there were two workers who’d been in zones that became crash sites. 

Troopers from Missouri and Illinois talked about the horrible things they’ve seen after a distracted driver unknowingly runs into a construction site. They also told us how troopers will be patrolling road construction sites closely this summer. I assumed they were mostly talking about the dangers of texting and driving, but Missouri Highway Patrol Corporal Trooper Dallas Thompson said many times,m texting is not even the cause. Today, some motorists are distracted from making videos for TikTok or other social media while driving.

At the beginning of construction season, 5 On Your Side wanted to remind area drivers how important your attention and preparation can be in preventing a life-changing tragedy. Don't multitask while driving and always play ahead. Lots of other dads, moms and kids are already working or driving in those orange zones this season.

More information about this season's construction zones will be available on the 5 On Your Side Traffic Map and the 5+ app. Download for free on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

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