The Department of Transportation is urging motorists to drive with caution as crews begin work on highway work zones now that the weather is getting warmer, or deal with the penalties. Assistant District Engineer Travis Koestner says drivers should slow down on highways while MoDOT crews are working in work zones areas. It’s stressing the message this week, which is the department’s annual Work Zone Awareness week.

He says last year, a worker in Kansas City was killed by an impaired driver, and warns there are penalties for those who are not careful, such as a $10,000 fine.

“When the weather is nice, that’s when most of the work gets done and that’s the time of year when most of the crews will actually be out working on roads,” he says. “We want to remind people that they’re going to see more and more work zones spring up this season.”

Koestner says the message is simple: move over for work zones and don’t zone out.

“We want people to really pay attention in those zones,” he says.

Koestner says he hopes that Work Zone Awareness week can help heighten the awareness, even though drivers should be aware and pay attention to the road all year long. He says since 2012, eight people have been killed in work zone related accidents.

AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports (1:02)