About the research
Public travel by motor vehicles is often necessary in road and street sections that have been officially closed for construction, repair, and/or other reasons. This authorization is permitted in order to provide access to homes and businesses located beyond the point of closure. The MUTCD does address appropriate use of specific regulatory signs at the entrance to closed sections; however, direct guidance for temporary traffic control measures within these areas is not included but may be needed. Interpretation and enforcement of common practices may vary among transportation agencies. For example, some law enforcement officers in Iowa have indicated a concern regarding enforcement and jurisdiction of traffic laws in these areas because the Code of Iowa only appears to address violations on roadways open to “public travel.” Enforcement of traffic laws in closed road sections is desirable to maintain safety for workers and for specifically authorized road users. In addition, occasional unauthorized entry by motor vehicles is experienced in closed road areas causing property damage. Citations beyond simple trespass may be advisable to provide better security for construction sites, reduce economic losses from damage to completed work, and create safer work zones.