Spring weather signals the beginning of roadwork season, with crews returning to highways to repair winter damage and begin other roadway improvements. National Work Zone Awareness Week, which begins April 4, 2011, is a national campaign that kicks off the start of construction season, encouraging safe driving around highway construction sites. Despite its springtime launch, the campaign’s important message resonates year round as men and women work diligently 365 days a year, seven days a week, to maintain the streets, roadways, highways, tunnels and bridges that comprise the nation's infrastructure.
On average, more than 40,000 people are injured each year as a result of motor vehicle crashes in work zones. To help raise driver awareness during this year’s campaign, DOT will run print, radio and outdoor public service announcements to promote work zone safety and remind New Yorkers that road workers deserve the same safe work environment as any professional. DOT has also created a special video illustrating the importance of work zone safety.
DOT is currently working on state legislation to increase penalties against drivers who are convicted of either killing or injuring construction workers in work zones. Learn more.
Drivers play a crucial role in keeping work zones safe. Here’s how you can help:
- Drive at or below the speed limit posted in a work zone
- Give the road your full attention! Avoid distractions such as changing radio stations and using mobile phones.
- Pay close attention to merge signs and do not change lanes within a work zone. Merge before you reach a lane closure.
- Watch out not only for workers in the zone, but also for their equipment.
- Be patient! Road workers are working to make repairs and improve road safety for everyone.
Read additional work zone safety tips from the New York State Department of Transportation.