During Work Zone Awareness Week,
ADOT reminds drivers to slow down in highway work areas
The statistic is sobering. Eighty-five percent of people killed in roadway work zone crashes across the nation are drivers or passengers in vehicles.
That figure emphasizes the need for more drivers to slow down and follow the safety message delivered during National Work Zone Awareness Week, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
This year’s message is “Safer driving. Safer work zones. For everyone.”
“Like you, ADOT construction and maintenance crew members have loved ones hoping they get home safely every day,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “The disregard for everyone’s safety by drivers who speed through work zones exhibits a lack of respect for other people and their families.”
According to federal crash statistics, 667 people were killed in highway work zone crashes across the U.S. in 2009. That includes 17 work zone-related fatalities in Arizona.
More than 40,000 people were injured in work zone crashes in the U.S. that same year.
“We need more people to understand that that majority of those killed or hurt in work zones are drivers and their passengers,” said Halikowski. “We urge drivers to take this simple safety step to heart and for goodness sake, slow down!”
As this year’s Work Zone Awareness Week takes place, ADOT has 115 construction projects under way around the state. Work zones for new lane construction are established in busy areas, including Interstate 10 west of Phoenix, I-10 between Casa Grande and Eloy and Loop 101 between State Route 51 and I-10 in the Phoenix area.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Arizona Department of Public Safety have joined ADOT in asking drivers to realize that work zones require extra caution due to factors such as merging lanes, limited shoulder space and distractions.
At ADOT’s memorial for state highway workers who have died in the line of duty, 31 names are etched around a sundial at the Sunset Point Rest Area along I-17 north of the Phoenix area.
“I hope and pray that we’ll not have to add any more names to that memorial,” Halikowski said. “Our highway workers put their lives on the line all the time, so please give them a brake, don’t drive distracted and buckle up. The life you save may be your own.”
For more statewide project information, visit www.azdot.gov/statewide.