A boom in road construction around Racine County has caused a spike in traffic crashes, accordion to the Sheriff.
In January of this year, deputies responded to 71 crashes, accidents and hit-and-runs across the county, according to numbers from the sheriff’s office.
The same data shows 71 crashes, accidents and hit-and-runs reported in February.
But during the month of April, with construction in full swing, statistics from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office so far show 96 traffic crashes, accidents and hit-and-runs.
Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said the road work causes delays. He thinks people driving recklessly and attempting to make up time are the primary cause of the road collisions.
“Frustration builds, patience falls by the wayside, and people start doing uncharacteristic things,” Schmaling said. “They start to speed, they start cutting people off, to try and get ahead of the game, and that’s where accidents happen.”
The road construction often means a reduction in traffic lanes. Schmaling said it’s important drivers passing through those areas remain alert, stay off their cell phones, and slow down.
“This is not the time to test out your new vehicle’s top speed. You need to pay attention in these construction zones,” Schmaling said. “I don’t want to have a construction worker to get killed. I don’t want anyone getting killed.”
Racine County drivers said they’ve noticed others on the roads getting frustrated and anxious because of the construction work.
“It’s a headache for not just me, but for all the drivers here in Racine,” said Joe Czosnek.
Shamaeca Clark said she’s noticed “a lot of tension” on the roadways around construction zones.
“People are speeding and, I mean, where are you going to go?” Clark said. “The lights are usually red, the traffic is slow. Where do you think you’re going?”