VIRGINIA

Distracted driving warnings amid I-95 construction

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(WJLA) - Talk to any given driver in Northern Virginia, and there’s a decent chance you’ll get responses like these when asking about calling or texting while driving:

"I try to avoid to avoid it as much as I can, but sometimes it happens."

"I feel a little guilty after, and then I'll put down the phone."

Jennifer Cash of Springfield is trying to curb the habit, but when it comes to using the phone in a construction zone, she doesn’t need the reminder.

“I'll definitely try to not be on the phone at all in that type of situation, because you never know what's gonna happen…what lanes are merging, what lanes are ending," she says.

That’s the message from law enforcement and transportation officials at Thursday’s “Orange Cones, No Phones” event in Dale City, as distracted driving is reported to be a major problem across the commonwealth.

Now, with new express lanes on I-95 set to open early next year, construction is happening at a rapid pace from Stafford County to north of the beltway – making it a difficult area to navigate.

Statistics show that the number of distracted drivers on 95 involved in incidents or near misses is up seven-percent from last year. Nationally, this year so far, nearly 355,000 crashes have occurred involving drivers using cell phones and texting.

Shalice Brown works in Springfield, and did text and drive – until she became a mother:

"I'm ashamed to say that I did it before but now I'm reformed."

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