ALDOT Focused on National Work Zone Awareness
April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week, and the Alabama Department of Transportation, road builders, contractors and local officials are joining together to encourage motorists to slow down in work zones, eliminate all distractions, pay attention to all signage and be vigilant for all roadway workers.
This year ALDOT is emphasizing the National Work Zone Awareness Week theme, “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands,” to help drivers understand their role in keeping work zones around the state safe for motorists and workers alike. According to preliminary 2016 data, there were 2,027 work zone crashes in Alabama, resulting in 14 fatalities and 645 injuries. These early reports indicate a decrease in work zone deaths and injuries compared to the previous year. In 2015, there were 2,452 work zone crashes, resulting in 31 fatalities and 705 injuries.
Last year during National Work Zone Awareness week, one ALDOT employee was killed and another was injured when they were both struck by a vehicle as they removed traffic control barrels on Interstate 65 north of Priceville. “This tragic incident is a sobering reminder that we all must do everything we can to keep our highways safe,” said ALDOT Director John Cooper.
“Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over when passing work crews.”
A common misconception is that most of those killed in work zone crashes are workers. National statistics show that four out of every five of those killed are motorists.
ALDOT offers these tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Know before you go. Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
- Stay alert and pay attention. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
- Merge safely. If the number of lanes are reduced, drivers should not speed to try and pass other vehicles as they merge into the work zone.
- Slow down. If you’re speeding, you may encounter slowed or stopped traffic within seconds.
- Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.
In recognition of this national campaign, Governor Bentley has issued a proclamation naming April 3 through April 7, 2017 as National Work Zone Awareness Week in the state of Alabama and encourages everyone to consider the safety of motorists and workers in work zones this week and every day. On Wednesday, the Retirement Systems of Alabama will light up its Mobile and Montgomery towers in orange to support Work Zone Safety Awareness.
For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm. Join the national conversation using #NWZAW or locally using #DriveSafeAL.
ALDOT’s mission is to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound transportation network across Alabama. For additional information, visit www.dot.state.al.us