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      Time to pay more attention in construction zones

      The main street in Iron Mountain is already narrow to begin with, but add dozens of construction workers and projects, and the scene looks more like the streets of a metropolis.

      Due to major road construction on US Highway 2 in Dickinson County, many roads are extremely narrow and dangerous, the last spot anyone should be caught texting and driving, right? Well, according to primary witnesses, or the construction workers, it happens more than it should.

      ?? It??s numerous times when you look out of the window of a piece of equipment and people are sitting with their heads down and all the traffic drives away and they're still sitting there,?? said Bacco Construction employee, Jay Mitchell. ??It??s not safe at all.??

      Whether it's texting, driving too fast, or like Andrea Drawski from Quinnesec who allegedly hit a worker on Thursday while being intoxicated, you can be putting many lives at risk, and possibly facing court time. Law enforcement say speed has been an issue, but really doesn't need to be.

      ??In my experience, I??ve seen a lot of moving violations,?? said Michigan State Police Trooper Jacob Mundy. ??I think people aren't aware that there's a worker present or a speed zone. There are enhanced penalties when you do a moving violation in a work zone.??

      Certainly many speed violation tickets can double, but if you hit a worker, causing injury or death, you can face up to $7,500 in fines and 15 years in jail. In fact, Consumers Energy reported that in 2012, there were 11,000 construction zone and utility-related car crashes. By simply being aware of your surroundings, many accidents can be avoided.

      ??People and equipment are moving around all the time; flying objects, concrete falling off stuff, or pieces of debris,?? said Mitchell. ??You??ve just got to pay attention.??