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Adam Niemerg: More Major Traffic Accidents on I-70 Highlight the Need for Better Safety Measures

A stop sign surrounded by traffic cones

Dieterich, IL - State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Teutopolis) has called for immediate action to enhance safety in construction zones following two major accidents on I-70 last Thursday.

The first incident occurred near mile marker 99 on eastbound I-70, involving two semis and resulting in a shutdown of the interstate until 4:10 PM. The second accident, involving four semis near mile marker 105 on westbound I-70, led to one person being hospitalized and the interstate being closed until approximately 8:30 PM.

"Last year, I sent a letter to the Governor and the Illinois Department of Transportation to urge them to take immediate action to make these construction zones safer," Niemerg said. "While some improvements have been made, my office is still receiving calls. We cannot have semis blocking traffic in small communities for hours on end, especially during summer when kids are on bikes and local communities have outdoor events. Interstate traffic needs to stay on the interstate."

Niemerg has introduced the Construction Zone Safe Detour Act (House Bill 4182) to address these safety concerns. The proposed legislation mandates GPS service providers to integrate detour and routing information from emergency services, Illinois State Police, or the Department of Transportation into their navigation systems. It also prohibits IDOT from conducting construction on secondary routes or parallel primary highways simultaneously with interstate construction, except in emergencies. Additionally, it requires IDOT to reimburse local governments for damages to roads caused by detours authorized by the Department.

"The Democratic super majority found time to give themselves a pay raise, but somehow there was not enough time this session to work on improving public safety at construction zones and saving lives," Niemerg stated. "Solving problems like this is why we have a General Assembly in the first place. It is time to pass the Construction Zone Safe Detour Act."

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