Drivers Seen Cutting through TxDOT Construction Zone

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SAN BENITO – The Texas Department of Transportation is urging people not to drive through blocked-off construction zones.

U.S. 281/Military Highway between FM 1577 and FM 732, near San Benito, is closed due to drainage repairs.

A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew caught multiple cars bypassing a TxDOT road barrier in order to get to the other side.

TxDOT spokesperson David Glessner said disobeying warning signs or barricades in a construction zone is against the law and could cost you a couple hundred bucks. If crews are present, he said the fine doubles.

"Barriers and signs are there for a reason... They are there to protect the drivers as much as the work crews,” he said.

But the warnings have not stopped dozens or cars from navigating through the construction site.

Cars were seen dodging and weaving past barriers and heavy equipment, even large holes in the ground in an area clearly marked as closed.

Both sides of the closed-off area have multiple signs warning of what lies ahead, including detour signs.

We saw one of the barriers was moved slightly which allowed cars to pass. When we tried to flag people down to ask why they drive through this site, they either drove right past or did a U-turn.

Eventually, we spoke with a driver who said he was in a hurry and was aware of the signs. Shortly after our talk, he went to join the others navigating through this construction jungle.

Glessner said the signs are there for the driver's safety.

"Slow down, pay attention to all the signage and flaggers that may be on-site and follow the directions provided by the signs or the work crews,” he advised.

While the site is set to open by the end of July, Glessner said if people continue to do this it could potential delay the project.

According to TxDOT, reckless driving through a work zone can be more dangerous to the driver than crews. Last year, 96 percent of fatalities in a work zone were from motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.


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