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      State police, DOT encourage drivers to be careful around road crews

      Rhode Island State Police and the Department of Transportation are encouraging drivers to be aware when they are traveling past road crews.

      "We're not trying to take travel lanes out for no reason. We're doing it so we can do our job," said Joe Baker of RIDOT.

      The effort is part of National Workzone Awareness Week.

      In 2012, more than 600 drivers and road crew workers died in workzone-related traffic accidents. Last year, six RIDOT workers were taken suffered injuries.

      "We're asking the men and women with RIDOT and the construction industry to be out here day and night in these conditions. We've got to keep them safe," said RIDOT Director Michael Lewis.

      State police said they have written almost 200 tickets to local drivers this year for failure to move over. Each ticket costs $85.

      "It only takes that one operator, that one motorist that's not paying attention," said Capt. Robert Wall of the Rhode Island State Police.