Monday marked the start of "National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week," a national campaign focusing attention on the dangers present in work zones, April 9-12.
In 1999, a total of 868 motorists and workers were killed in construction-area collisions nationwide.
In Washington, D.C., this week, 868 orange barrels with black ribbons tied around them will be laid out on Mall C in memory of those who died in construction zone accidents.
The first National Work Zone Awareness Week was held April 3-7, 2000.
The goal of the program is to increase public awareness of the need for greater caution and care while driving through work zones, provide safety tips for motorists and establish a nationwide coordinated effort to promote work zone safety.
The establishment of this awareness week was accompanied by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Federal Highway Administration.
The Federal Highway Administration offers the following safety tips for driving through construction zones:
- Stay alert and dedicate your full attention to the road.
- Pay close attention to signs and work-zone flaggers.
- Turn on headlights.
- Don''t tailgate.
- Don''t speed. Note posted speed limits.
- Keep up with the traffic flow.
- Don''t change lanes in work zones.
- Minimize distractions. Avoid using a phone or radio.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Be patient.
by Virginia Sutcliffe