NATIONAL OBSERVANCE WEEK HIGHLIGHTS WORK ZONE AWARENESS
“TxDOT encourages motorists to drive smart and arrive safely at destination.”
Houston – Every 10 hours there is a work zone fatality. That is more than 700 people killed nationwide and injuries reported in work zone-related crashes each year. Work zones can be hazardous not only for crews working to improve Texas’ highways, but for motorists as well. Nine out of every ten work zone fatalities are motorists traveling through the work zone.
To help educate Texans on the importance of work zone safety and awareness, each year the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) participates in the National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW). This year marks the 13th year of NWZAW which runs from April 23-27. This year’s theme is “Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive.”
As a part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, TxDOT Houston District will also host a NOON Press Conference and Safety Awareness Fair on Monday, April 23. Speakers will include Houston District Engineer Mike Alford, P.E., Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland and Texas Department of Public Safety Derek Rodriguez.
As part of the event, several proclamations will be declared and presented by the City of Houston and Harris County. The press conference will begin at noon.
In 2010, 100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance work zones in Texas. In Houston and surrounding counties, there were a reported 2, 866 crashes and 21 fatalities during 2010.
“Each year, Texas sees fewer work zone fatalities than the year before largely because of coordinated efforts to educate motorists on the dangers of speed and distracted driving in work zones,” said John Barton, TxDOT’s deputy executive director. “Each of us has the power to protect lives as we drive. We just need to put our cell phones down, stop adjusting the radio and focus on driving safely.”
To learn more about work zone awareness week and for tips to keep in mind when driving through work zones view the District video at:
Some of the tips mentioned in the video are to:
· Expect the unexpected
· Slow Down. Speed and inattention are the most common causes of work zone crashes
· Don’t tailgate.
· Steer clear of cones and crews
· Pay attention to posted signs
· Obey road crew flaggers
· Stay alert and minimize distractions
· Keep up with the traffic flow
· Pre-plan your trip
· Be patient and stay calm
For more information about work zone safety or to download our Public Service Announcements, go to www.txdot.gov, search work zone. Media representatives interested in covering the event are encouraged to contact the TxDOT Public Information Office at (713) 802-5076. The public is also encouraged to attend.