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“Creatures” help remind drivers to watch out for work zones

Stop Signs in Work Zone with Traffic Control in Perris California, No Walk Sign

National Work Zone Awareness Week, observed April 11-15, 2022, is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones.

 

Safety “Creatures”

This year, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials in Anthony, Texas, put a unique spin on raising awareness. They assembled large sculptures such as a giant snake, a T-Rex, and others, made entirely of orange traffic barrels that were hit by drivers. The giant sculpture can be found at Anthony’s Texas Travel Information Center.

 

According to a news release, traffic deaths related to work zones have increased sharply up to 33%. Last year, close to 200 people died in motor vehicle crashes related to construction zones. Officials believe speeding and driver inattention are the leading causes.

 

Safety Tips

As part of TxDOT’s “Be Safe, Drive Smart” campaign. TxDOT shared safety tips for drivers as they share roads with construction workers such as:

  • Slow down, follow posted speed limits.
  • Pay attention and avoid distractions.
  • Watch for road crews wearing protective clothing such as hard hats, reflective clothing, etc.
  • Don’t tailgate, give yourself room to stop if needed.
  • Allow extra time to your destination if construction exists.

 

History of National Work Zone Awareness Week

In 1997, a group of Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) staff members, located in southwestern Virginia, wanted to dedicate a week to raise awareness about work zone safety among all district employees before construction projects picked up during the warmer months. Following the successful promotion of this first event, VDOT brought the idea of raising awareness to other DOTs, and in 1999 the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began its statewide public awareness campaign, “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

 

Today, National Work Zone Awareness Week is observed across the United States, with partnerships between state departments of transportation (DOT), national road safety organizations, government agencies, private companies and individuals.

 

Work Site

Courtesy of Texas Department of Transportation, Anthony, Texas.

 

Work Site

Courtesy of Texas Department of Transportation, Anthony, Texas.