Here's a great article by Accuform Signs' Ashley Price, Merchandising Manager and blogger at Notable Regulations.
Imagine showing up to work every day and being faced with the constant danger of speeding, distracted motorists whizzing by only mere feet from you while also being surrounded by a bustle of heavy equipment, materials and machinery. This is “the office” for workers building and improving our American roadways.
This week (April 23-27) is the 13th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week. Started in 1999, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in coordination with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), sponsor the week-long event that strives to spread awareness of the myriad of dangers in highway work zones. Many states are also now hosting their own Work Zone Awareness events.
This year’s national kick-off event will be hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation on Route 141 where a relocation project is underway near St. Louis to upgrade the three-lane road to a six-lane freeway. Missouri was chosen because of their level of commitment to work zone awareness. The theme chosen for this year’s awareness week is “Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive”.
In 2010, there were 576 work zone fatalities that resulted from 514 fatal motor vehicle crashes, with 80% being the vehicle operators and passengers and 20% workers, pedestrians and cyclists. On the up-side, those numbers are down and have been decreasing steadily over the years. Work zone fatalities are actually decreasing at a faster rate than overall highway fatalities - proof of the national and state-level commitment to safer roads and programs like the National Work Zone Awareness Week. Let's give our support to continuing to reduce fatalities and injuries on our nation's roadways. Consider participating in awareness week at your place of business and even in your home.
So, as you drive through any of the thousands of work zones across our country today, remember to slow down - for you, for your family, for workers, for the families who could lose a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend. As we here at Accuform Signs say, "Safety is a Family Value".
For more information about the National Work Zone Awareness Week and for more resources visit:
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA)
Work Zone Fatalities Charts Source: National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse and US DOT Federal Highway Administration
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