In recognition of National Highway Work Zone Safety Week - April 8-12 - the New Jersey Laborers Union is asking drivers to be safe and proceed carefully in and around roadway construction projects.
National Highway Work Zone Safety Week was founded to encourage motorists and highway workers to take basic steps to help save lives and prevent injuries in work zones. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 1,093 people died in work zone accidents in 2000, the last year of complete data. This is a 26 percent increase from the year before.
While roadway work zones often seem like nothing more than an inconvenience to the motoring public, the road work being done is necessary to maintaining roads and providing people safe and efficient transit. Oftentimes, the only thing protecting workers from speeding traffic is a painted stripe, a cone, or a barrel.
During National Highway Work Zone Safety Week, the New Jersey Laborers Union is asking motorists to take the following actions when entering work zones:
- Stay alert. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway.
- Pay close attention to signs and work zone flaggers.
- Turn on headlights. Workers and motorists must see you.
- Do not tailgate.
- Do not speed. Slow down to posted limits.
- Keep up with the traffic flow through work zones.
- Do not change lanes in work zones.
- Minimize distractions in vehicles. Avoid changing radio stations and using mobile phones.
- Expect the unexpected. Keep an eye on workers and their equipment.
- Be patient. Remember work zones are necessary to improve roads and make them safer.
The New Jersey Laborers Union is one of the state''s largest unions with more than 20,000 members specializing in heavy, highway and building construction, asbestos removal, and hazardous waste remediation.
For more information about National Highway Work Zone Safety Week, see the article "Stay Alert, Protect Highway Workers."
by Sandy Smith ([email protected])