Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
April 3, 2017
PARTNER WITH VDOT FOR SAFETY IN WORK ZONES
National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 3-7
RICHMOND, Va. – Hundreds of highway work zones are active every spring across the commonwealth, and they can be dangerous places for motorists and crew members. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will take part in National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3-7, to remind drivers that caution and vigilance are essential for safety on both sides of the orange cones.
This year’s national theme is “Drive Toward Zero Crashes. Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands.”
“When you approach a highway work zone, you’re seeing Virginia’s investment in our future,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey L. Layne Jr., “Construction and maintenance of our roads and bridges benefits all of us. Driving without distractions helps ensure that you reach your destination safely, and that VDOT’s crews and contractors make it home to their loved ones.”
In Virginia’s work zones last year, there were 2,427 work zone crashes resulting in 1,170 injuries and 10 fatalities.
VDOT and the Virginia Transportation Research Council are working together to enhance the visibility of work zones and capture the attention of every driver. The agencies are currently evaluating temporary portable rumble strips and flagger paddles equipped with flashing LED lights in each of VDOT’s nine construction districts. These devices are designed to reduce distracted driving and improve safety for motorists and workers.
“With warmer months ahead, construction season will be in full swing, and you’ll notice a lot activity,” VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick said. “Just remember that a little frustration now will soon turn into improved travel in the future. So stay alert – protect yourselves and our workers who are trying to improve your travel.”
Support Work Zone Awareness Week
- Tuesday, April 4: The public is invited to a 6:30 p.m. vigil at the VDOT Workers’ Memorial (Interstate 64 eastbound on Afton Mountain in Albemarle County, milepost 103). This annual event honors employees who lost their lives while on the job.
- Wednesday, April 5: Go Orange Day. Wear orange to help start a conversation about work zone safety. Gov. Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe are showing their support by lighting the executive mansion in orange.
- Follow VDOT on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use the hashtags: #NWZAW, #GoOrangeVA and #InYourHands.
- VDOT offers the following tips for safely navigating highway work zones:
- Expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for workers and slow-moving equipment.
- Follow the signs. Signs and flaggers will direct you through the work zone. Expect changes in traffic patterns as the project progresses.
- Don’t tailgate. Unexpected stops frequently occur in work zones.
- Don’t speed. Enhanced fines of up to $500 may be levied for speeding in a work zone.
- Never change lanes in the work zone.
- Focus and minimize distractions. Focus your full attention on the road and those traveling around you. Avoid changing radio stations, eating or using phones.
- Be patient. Crews are working to improve the safety and comfort of your travels.
- Know before you go. Call 511 or download the free app for up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information. Before you travel, log on to 511Virginia.org for road and traffic conditions, weather forecasts and live traffic cameras on many major highways.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.