Each spring, the Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT) and other state DOTs recognize Work Zone Awareness Week to remind drivers of the importance of avoiding distractions and driving safely through work zones.
We invite you to join VDOT in the annual observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week April 11-15. This week is a reminder that work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Our employees and contractors put their lives on the line in work zones every day while working to improve travel for motorists in Virginia. This is true in mobile operations like mowing, paving and plowing snow, as well as in our established work zones for long-term construction projects like Route 58 in Carroll, Floyd and Patrick Counties, I-581 at Valley View, Southgate at Virginia Tech and I-81 at exit 150.
Although signs, cones and safety vests can be effective in warning motorists of a work zone, these tools are no protection against a fast-moving vehicle or an inattentive driver.
Did you know…
• Every time a driver takes their focus off the road—even for a moment—they put their lives and the lives of others in danger.
• Drivers are three times more likely to be killed in work zone crashes than highway workers.
• In 2015, seven fatalities, 2,622 crashes and 1,417 injuries occurred in Virginia’s work zones.
All motorists—whether a seasoned driver or someone new behind the wheel—can show support for VDOT’s workers by participating in activities during the week and by following three instructions when driving through a work zone:
On Wednesday, April 13, VDOT invites you to attend a vigil at the VDOT Workers’ Memorial on Afton Mountain at 6:30 p.m., which honors the lives of VDOT workers who died while performing their jobs.
Wednesday is also national “Go Orange Day.” Everyone is encouraged to wear orange in support of work zone safety across the country.
Follow our Twitter page @VaDOTSalem and share our messages, pictures and hashtags throughout the week. #OrangeforSafety, #GoOrangeVa
• When you see the orange work zone warning signs, be alert for changing conditions ahead.
• Slow down in work zones and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• Minimize distractions. Avoid using mobile devices when behind the wheel.
We appreciate your efforts to keep our roads and work zones safe for everyone.
Ken King, P.E.