With "Go Orange Day!" on April 28, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) observes National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) April 26-30, with this critical message to the nation's roadways users — "Obey Speed Limits. Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives."
The week kicked off April 26 with a virtual event hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
For more than 20 years, NWZAW has reminded drivers to pay special attention when navigating roadway work zones. Transportation construction workers and concerned citizens across the country are encouraged to wear orange to further demonstrate the human element behind the cones and barrels that drivers pass by every day.
ARTBA is on the executive committee that developed the week's events.
In 2019, there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. That includes at least 135 roadway workers killed in their workspaces at transportation construction sites. The numbers paint a picture of the increasingly dangerous environment in work zones across our country.
"This day — and this week — are dedicated to saving lives by highlighting the warnings raised by orange signs, cones and safety clothing," said Brad Sant, ARTBA's senior vice president of safety and education. "Work zone warnings are not an inconvenience. They represent the human element in a live and often hazardous transportation construction project site.
"Construction workers are dedicated to fixing and maintaining one of our nation's most critical assets and they deserve to go home to their loved ones safely every day," he said.
ARTBA, in partnership with federal, state and other industry organizations, works year-round to educate workers and protect roadway users from injury and death when in work zones.
When drivers see signs of a roadway work zone ahead, they should take the following actions:
- Obey the posted speed limits.
- Be alert and avoid distractions
- Focus on workers and abnormal road conditions
- Work zones change daily, expect the unexpected.
For more information, visit www.artba.org.
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