AUSTIN, Texas – In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be cautious when driving through work zones.

In 2017, work zone fatalities in Texas increased 9 percent over the previous year, resulting in 199 deaths and 813 serious injuries.

Out of the total number of deaths, 4 percent were road crew workers, and the rest motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said that officials always urge drivers to be extra cautious when driving through work zones.

In 2017, there were 27,148 work zone crashes in Texas, which was an increase of 5 percent over 2016. The leading causes of statewide work zone crashes were speeding and distracted driving.

Fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.

As part of its ongoing Work Zone Awareness campaign, TxDOT also reminds drivers of the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching TxDOT crews, law enforcement, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. Failure to obey the law can result in fines up to $2,000.

National Work Zone Awareness Week runs from April 9 through April 13.