State DOTs host National Work Zone Awareness Week events


National Work Zone Awareness Week began Monday, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will host an official kick-off event on Tuesday in Seattle.

This year, the campaign takes place April 7-11 across the nation, with transportation agencies spreading the following message: “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake.”

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The campaign focuses on urging drivers to slow down in highway construction zones, especially during peak season, which is currently underway.

A news release from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) notes points to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics showing that 609 people died in highway work-zone crashes in 2012 — 19 fatalities more fatalities than the previous year. Nearly 80 percent of victims in work zone crashes in 2012 were drivers or passengers, AASHTO notes.

“The latest statistics show that speeding was a factor in more than 35 percent of all fatal work zone crashes in 2012,” AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright said in a written statement. “This is the start of the roadway construction season and thousands of workers are going to be out there, on America’s highways and bridges.”

State agencies are planning events to recognize National Work Zone Awareness Week. Among those events are:

  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) staff will wear orange at its Transportation Commission meeting and will temporarily turn Oklahoma City’s SkyDance Bridge orange.
  • Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) officials are drawing attention to fines and jail time that result from work zone speeding citations.
  • Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials are targeting driving behaviors in and around work zones in its campaign.

To see AASHTO’s public service announcement promoting the national campaign, check out the included video.

For more details about National Work Zone Awareness Week, click here.